Benefits of Chiropractic Care For Shoulder Pain

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The Benefits of Chiropractic Care For Shoulder Pain

A common misconception about Chiropractic is that is can only be used for neck and back pain. At our clinic we strive to show patients that not only do we provide excellent care when it comes to the neck and back, but we have an extensive knowledge in treating extremity injuries as well. We combine Chiropractic adjustments with physical therapy modalities including electrical stimulation, stretching and exercises, cold-laser therapy and Graston Technique. We’ve seen excellent results in treating running related injuries like plantar fasciitis, sprain/strains, shin splints, gait imbalance and more. We also treat shoulder injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, hip pain, lateral and medial epicondylitis and other extremity related injuries.

The shoulder is a complex joint that can often make deciding on a treatment plan complicated. There are a number of muscles and ligaments that connect the joint, 4 different bones that make up the joint, and more range of motion involved in the shoulder than any other joint. Muscle testing and orthopaedic testing are important in making a proper diagnosis. When it comes to treatment of the shoulder, just like in spinal joints, manual manipulation can be used to increase the range of motion in the joint itself. A study was published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics entitled Manipulative Therapy for Shoulder Pain and Disorders: Expansion of a Systematic Review in which this topic was covered in depth.

The study involved gathering published articles that researched the effects of manual manipulation on the shoulder for common shoulder pain and disorders. The accumulation of data showed that there is a fair level of evidence on the benefits of manual manipulation in combination with another modality. This reinforces what we mentioned earlier in that Chiropractors can treat a wide variety of issues besides the typical neck and back complaints.

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

Volume 34, Issue 5 , Pages 314-346, June 2011

Manipulative Therapy for Shoulder Pain and Disorders: Expansion of a Systematic Review

James W. Brantingham, DC, PhD, Tammy Kay Cassa, DC, Debra Bonnefin, DC,


The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review on manual and manipulative therapy (MMT) for common shoulder pain and disorders.


A search of the literature was conducted using the Cumulative Index of Nursing Allied Health Literature; PubMed; Manual, Alternative, and Natural Therapy Index System; Physiotherapy Evidence Database; and Index to Chiropractic Literature dating from January 1983 to July 7, 2010. Search limits included the English language and human studies along with MeSH terms such as manipulation, chiropractic, osteopathic, orthopedic, musculoskeletal, physical therapies, shoulder, etc. Inclusion criteria required a shoulder peripheral diagnosis and MMT with/without multimodal therapy. Exclusion criteria included pain referred from spinal sites without a peripheral shoulder diagnosis. Articles were assessed primarily using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale in conjunction with modified guidelines and systems. After synthesis and considered judgment scoring were complete, with subsequent participant review and agreement, evidence grades of A, B, C, and I were applied.


This study found a level of B or fair evidence for MMT of the shoulder, shoulder girdle, and/or the FKC combined with multimodal or exercise therapy for rotator cuff injuries/disorders, disease, or dysfunction. There is a fair or B level of evidence for MMT of the shoulder/shoulder girdle and FKC combined with a multimodal treatment approach for shoulder complaints, dysfunction, disorders, and/or pain.

Alpha Chiropractic & Physical Therapy believes in combing the specialties and experiences of a medical physician, chiropractor, physical therapist, and massage therapists for treating injuries. This comprehensive treatment approach often produces better results in less time by addressing the muscle and joint aspect to every injury. Our clinic is conveniently located to serve the Ahwatukee, Chandler, Tempe, and Gilbert communities. To learn more about our treatments please visit the Resource Pages or Home Page.