Shoulder pain can affect your lifestyle in ways you’ve never thought about. You may not realize how much you use your shoulders in everyday activities such as dressing, eating, and brushing your hair until you have a shoulder issue that makes it almost impossible to do these things without pain. Sadly, shoulder problems are on the rise, with an estimated 40 to 60 percent of adults experiencing conditions at some point in their lives, such as frozen shoulder, rotator cuff problems, impingement, and chronic pain or tightness of this joint.
Why Is Shoulder Pain So Common?
There are a number of reasons that shoulder problems plague so many people. The structure of your shoulder causes it to be vulnerable to issues. It’s a ball and socket joint, like your hip, and the most mobile joint in your body. Unlike your hip, however, the socket of your shoulder is shallow, so it depends on the surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments to hold the bones together and stabilize the joint.
Another reason that shoulder conditions are on the rise is that over the past several decades, technology has caused our posture to change. The overwhelming majority of us spend hours each day hunched over computers, looking down at cell phones, or carrying a backpack with shoulders pulled forward. Being stooped over much of the time causes your shoulders to roll forward, shortening the muscles in your chest and putting a strain on the muscles at the back of your shoulders, especially those of your rotator cuff.
Your rotator cuff is one of the most common sources of shoulder pain. It is actually a group of four muscles that are crucial to the stabilization and movement of your shoulder. Through poor posture, injury, or overuse these muscles can become pulled, torn, become inflamed or impinged, that cause pain and loss of function. Additionally, chronically tight shoulder and neck muscles, injuries, and overuse can also cause shoulder disorders.
There Is A Natural Treatment
Western treatments for shoulder problems may include physical therapy, pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications, and surgery. However, more and more people are turning to acupuncture to treat their shoulder pain, and for a good reason. A number of research studies have concluded that acupuncture can be effective in reducing pain and improving range of motion in patients with shoulder complaints.
Acupuncture helps to relieve pain because it increases the release of opioid-like chemicals in your brain as well as blocking the pain signals along your nerve pathways. In addition, acupuncture increases circulation to the area being treated, decreases inflammation significantly, helps to loosen muscles and increase range of motion, and supports the healing process.
If you choose acupuncture to treat your shoulder pain, your practitioner will determine the best course of treatment for you, based on the history of your condition and your overall health. For best results, their plan for you may include adding electric stimulation to your acupuncture treatments, using heat therapy, prescribing an herbal formula, suggesting dietary modifications, or incorporating bodywork into your sessions. The ultimate goal of your treatment plan is to relieve your pain, increase range of motion, support the healing process, and restore function.