Acupuncture for Shoulder Pain
Recurring or persistent shoulder pain is a common reason for people to seek acupuncture treatment. Shoulders can go through a lot of strain and abuse. The glenohumeral joint AKA shoulder has a large range of motion but must be stable and strong enough for strenuous work. The shoulder is a floating joint, held up by soft tissue and attached to the rest of the skeletal system at the top of the sternum. Though most people are familiar with the four rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder, but there are 19 different muscles that can affect the shoulder. Shoulder pain is often caused by excess tension and limited range of motion setting up the conditions for dysfunction.
Injuries to the four rotator cuff muscles and tendons are common. These tissues initiate the movement of the shoulder and stabilized the joint. The cause for pain and loss of range of motion is often micro tears and inflammation. If range of motion is severely restricted this is called frozen shoulder.
There are many ways to shoulder can be affected. One of the most common is repetitive overuse from doing a specific motion or holding an awkward posture. This is common among many trades people. A very simple but often overlooked reason is leaning on the arm when watching TV, reading, or using the phone. That constant pressure on the shoulder can cause pain and inflammation, but the habit may be unconscious and unnoticed. Because the shoulder is so mobile and often has restriction, exercise done with improper form can strain and injure the shoulder. This is often seen with weight bearing exercises such as calisthenics or weight lifting . Sometimes, shoulder restriction goes unnoticed until a sudden movement will cause injury. An example would be suddenly reaching for a moving object or catching yourself during a full.
Acupuncture is effective for treating a wide variety of shoulder problems and can successfully resolve old injuries. At Circle of Health, we use acupuncture, restorative exercises such as stretching and ranges of motion exercises as well as the use of topical herbal treatments are to form a integrated approach to get you out of pain quickly with results that last.
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