I was watching the World Series the other day and as I watched the pitchers pitch the ball I couldn't help to think about how much stress they put on their shoulder muscles with every throw. I mean I get sore from just looking at them. The good news is that most of these shoulder injuries that you see or hear about are less complicated and easier to treat than one would think. There are several types of shoulder injuries such as a traumatic AC joint separation, bursitis or inflammation of a fluid filled cavity around the shoulder, fracture, frozen shoulder, muscle strain or pull, tendonitis, and impingement syndrome. More common than most is tendonitis, strain, and impingement syndrome. These last mentioned disorders can and are treated conservatively (without surgery) through chiropractic and physical therapy. The treatments can be painful and length of treatment can be from 1 week to 3 months but the results are usually very positive and sometimes permanent. The treatments may be long and not fun but at least you don't have to go through the very painful healing process from surgery along with not having any scars and scar tissue forming. I see mostly patients with supraspinatus impingement syndrome in my practice. This is very common and can happen to anyone. The good news is that it can be treated very easily.
To understand more what this "supraspinatus impingement syndrome" is can be best explained with a short anatomy lesson. You see that your shoulder joint is mostly held in place by muscles, unlike the hip which is supported by bone, and is called the rotator cuff. It consists of four muscles including the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. If any one of these muscles get injured, are overactive and/or under active, then the shoulder joint complex can be dysfunctional. Supraspinatus impingement syndrome happens when the supraspinatus muscle is not working properly and as the shoulder comes up or abducts the "loose" supraspinatus muscle bunches up and gets caught under the AC joint causing pain and decreasing abduction. By using heat, myofascial release, ultrasound, Anodyne® Therapy, Gua-shaw, joint manipulation, and shoulder strengthening exercise, the problem can be easily treated. The same procedures are similar to what I would do if a patient of mine has tendonitis, and sometimes bursitis. So don't always look at surgery as your first option, try to make it your last. Take care and have a healthy day.