By Landon Agoado AP, DOM (AP1704) – At our Palm Beach Gardens acupuncture clinic, we have found it incredibly satisfying to treat patients suffering from shoulder pain. Acupuncture has always been the ideal solution to this problem, and our patients have always loved the results. We do too! If you’re suffering with shoulder pain, regardless of the cause, we are confident that we can get results for you too.
Your shoulder is the meeting point for several joints, so pain in that area can be so severe that it makes it difficult for you to carry out normal activities such as moving your arm about, driving or even writing. Shoulder pain may even radiate upwards into the trapezius muscle or downwards along the lateral aspect of the arm and even to the elbow. The discomfort it causes can be quite debilitating.
So what causes shoulder pain?
- Inflammation at the tendons – If you participate in repetitive activities such as playing tennis, then you might find yourself experiencing this kind of pain. It all starts with an inflammation at the shoulder joint, and examples include bursitis and tendinitis. These conditions have to be treated because if left unattended to, the patient could experience chronic pain and discomfort.
- Arthritis – Sometimes, arthritis is caused by shoulder injuries. At other times, it could be the result of advanced age. Arthritis patients tend to go through loss of motion as well as chronic pain in the shoulder area.
- Instability – Shoulder instability could come by as a result of different factors. These could include infections, sudden impact or too much work that puts the shoulder under pressure. Dislocation could also cause shoulder instability. These kinds of instabilities reduce your range of motion and lead to chronic pain if the right medical treatments are not adopted.
- Fracture – Broken or cracked bones in the shoulder area will definitely cause a whole lot of pain. Simple fractures simply need to be split or cast. There are however some severe injuries that will require surgery.
- Frozen shoulder – Scientifically known as capsulitis, a frozen shoulder develops when the tissues in your shoulder tighten and thicken. This considerably reduces your range of motion, limiting you to a narrow 40-60 degree range. These angles are very limited can make it hard for you to move your shoulder about freely.
- Fibromyalgia – Patients experience plenty of pain in muscle and joint areas. This is not a single disease, but a range of symptoms that all hit the patient at once, which means that the compounded impact can be overwhelming.
Western Medical Treatments for Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain leads to a lot of discomfort, notably because the shoulder is one of the most active parts of your body. Aside from that, it has to be curbed early on because rather than going away over time, it becomes considerably worse. When you visit a specialist, they are going to use a number of diagnostic tools to decide what kind of pain you are suffering as well as its intensity. Below are the most common Western medical treatment approaches to this pain;
- Medicine – Painkillers, relaxers, and NSAIDS are some of the most common forms of treatment. To a certain degree, they are effective in helping deal with the problem in the short term.
- Physical therapy – If you are suffering from a frozen shoulder, then this may be a viable option. Your therapist in this scenario will advise you to consistently move the joints involved in order to kill the freeze and give your shoulder some flexibility.
- Surgery – Doctors will only recommend surgery if the problem has been persistent and their diagnosis shows advanced problems such as broken bones, overstretched tendons, complete tears and significant fractures.
How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Work for Shoulder Pain
For a long time now, acupuncture has been a staple of Chinese medicine. It has been lauded for centuries now as the ideal solution to any type of pain, so shoulder pain certainly fits the bill. Acupuncture is a specialized procedure in which the professional inserts thin, sterile needles at specific areas of the skin. These needles stimulate body to release endorphins, which reduce the level at which we perceive pain. This leads to relief and reduces inflammation. Generally, clinical trials indicate that acupuncture works and is more efficient than Western medical approaches.
Dr. Ming Yi of Neuroscience Research Institute, Peking University, has for instance, conducted a wide range of studies that provide overwhelming real world evidence that if administered right, acupuncture significantly reduces pain and suffering among patients with shoulder problems.
Most of the time, acupuncture is administered alongside Chinese herbs, Tuina massage and Chinese cupping.
At our Palm Beach Gardens acupuncture clinic, we believe in always looking for the most effective ways to treat patients suffering from shoulder pain, and we believe that acupuncture is always one of our best tools to treat shoulder pain. If you are suffering from the condition, simply reach out to our licensed team of physicians and we will immediately set about getting you feeling better!