Dr. Christopher Walker is writing blogs! The blog below is the first of many to come. You can expect to see a monthly blog on topics of interest to our patients.
One in five people have shoulder problems. Maybe from working under their Corvettes and Edsels, gardening, painting, throwing activities, household activities or most often from daily wear and tear on a stiff upper back and shoulder.
The shoulder consists of three bones, the scapula (shoulder blade), the humerus (upper arm bone) and the clavicle (collarbone).
The scapula is actually the most important bone in the shoulder complex. It has the socket for the ball of the humerus to make true shoulder joint, but the function of the shoulder depends greatly on the mobility of the scapula, which in turn depends on the mobility and alignment of the thoracic spine (mid to upper back). In addition, the scapula has 17 muscles attached to it to make it even more complex.
Many shoulder joint problems exist from excessive strain on the ball and socket joint due to a lack of alignment and mobility of the upper back and scapula. We treat a lot of shoulder problems here at Edgemont Chiropractic Clinic and have great success when we design a program for you that includes both treatment and exercise.
Rotator Cuff Injuries & Frozen Shoulders
Two of the more common problems we see are Rotator Cuff injuries and Frozen Shoulders.
The rotator cuff consisted of four muscles, all anchored to your scapula, which is why assessing and treating the scapula may be the most important part of your therapy. Their job is to stabilize the shoulder when the arm is used in many directions.
The injuries range from tendinitis, tendinosis, partial and full tears. These injuries can occur around falls, accidents, or overuse, sleeping position and especially overhead-rotative shoulder activities where the scapula and upper back mobility are critical. (Dr. Walker accomplished his own rotator cuff injury using a pickaxe with real gusto for two days. He never did find that water pipe…)
The second most common problem we see is a Frozen Shoulder, otherwise known as adhesive capsulitis. Interestingly, it usually occurs in the non-dominant, and even more interesting is that up to 20% of patients will later suffer from a frozen shoulder in their other arm, (Dr. Walker has never encountered a right frozen shoulder patient in 27 years of practice and all but one patient has been female). Mostly occurs in patients between 40-60 years of age. Found with 20% of people with diabetes. Also associated in some patients with heart disease and thyroid problems. No known cause for it.
Both Frozen Shoulders and Rotator Cuff injuries may respond to heat and/or ice. Ice should be used on an injured shoulder for the first 72 hours to bring down pain, inflammation and swelling. Ice should be applied for 15-20 minutes every 3 hours. Once the swelling has gone down or with older shoulder injuries (greater than 6 weeks) heat benefits by increasing blood flow to the muscles. Exercises can help but be sure you’re doing the right ones because the wrong exercises can make the shoulder worse.
So, if you’re up to your neck in shoulder pain, call us and we’ll help you get the relief you’re looking for.
Did you know? April is Shoulder Month! Edgemont Chiropractic Clinic offers an online exercise course each Thursday morning at 9:00 am. It is run by Sheila Hamilton, a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach.
You can sign up through a link on the Edgemont Chiropractic Clinic website www.edgemontchiro.com. Sheila and her colleague from the Sheila Hamilton Movement Garden skillfully take you through movements, stretches and exercises that (if you do them on the other days too - common sense) can help take care of your shoulders.
Dr. Walker's Hours
Dr. Walker is also accepting new patients and has clinic hours:
- Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
- Fridays 7:00 am to 4:30 pm
- Saturdays 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Would you like to meet him? Dr. walker will be offering complementary back screenings on Saturday April 15th. Call us to day to save your spot at 604-986-5371.