The shoulder joint (glenohumeral joint)  is a  is a multiaxial synovial ball and socket joint, involving articulation between the glenoid fossaof the scapula (“shoulder blade”) and the humeral head. Due to the very limited interface of the humerus and scapula, it is the most mobile joint of the human body.  The bones of the shoulder joint include the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone) as well as the supporting musculature, ligaments and tendons. The articulations between the bones of the shoulder make up the shoulder joints. The muscle groups and tendons that stabilize the shoulder are  collectively referred to as the rotator cuff.  These muscles include the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis, they hold the head of the humerus (ball) in the glenoid fossa (socket). The joint includes  the superior, middle and inferior glenohumeral ligaments as well as the coracohumeral ligament and the transverse humeral ligament.

Shoulder pain is a common complaint for many people ranging from athletes, (in need of sports chiropractic) to children and senior citizens. There are many causes of shoulder pain. In order to treat the patient properly,  the correct diagnosis must be made first. The diagnosis is made based on the physical exam (orthopedic tests) , MRIs, radiology (X-rays) or a CT scan.  The best choice of doctors for shoulder pain/shoulder injury is a doctor of chiropractic (D.C.).  This is because  chiropractors treat with out the use of surgery nor the use of pharmaceuticals which all cause side effects.  The goal of the chiropractor is to get the patient out of pain and to restore a full pain-free range of motion

Consult with a chiropractor if you have any of the following:

  • Inability to carry or lift objects or to use the arm
  • Shoulder pain that occurs throughout the day or night and lasts more than several days
  • Difficulty raising/moving the arm
  • Edema at the shoulder
  • Bruising
  • Numbness, tingling, or a burning feeling (synesthesia)

 Following is a list of the various causes of shoulder pain which respond very well to chiropractic treatment and physical therapy:

Bursitis: (most common diagnosis) this is an inflammation of a fluid filled sac called a bursa.  The bursa’s function is to protect the join by cushioning or absorbing pressure and helps make movements more fluid.

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis:  this occurs when tendons become inflamed; this usually occurs due to over-use (a.k.a. “over-use syndrome”)

Rotator Cuff Tear: A Rotator cuff tear occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff separate from the bone. Surgery is sometimes necessary for this condition.

Adhesive Capsulitis:  a.k.a. “frozen shoulder.” This syndrome causes difficulty moving the arm through normal ranges of motion; it is usually brought about from the disuse of the shoulder due to some type of acute trauma or from a chronic problem, causing the person to stop using the affected arm/shoulder or use it in a limited manner.

Calcific Tendonitis:  a condition in which there are calcium deposits within a tendon or calcification of a tendon. These calcifications cause a loss of pliability/elasticity of the affected tendon

Shoulder Instability: this is due hyper mobile ligaments, torn ligaments/tendons, or torn muscles.

Shoulder Dislocation an injury that occurs when the head of the humerus shifts out  from the glenoid fossa, the dislocation may be anterior or posterior and chronic or acute

Acromioclavicular separation: this occurs when the acromion separates from the clavicle

SLAP Lesion:  this stands for superior labrum anterior to posterior tear.

Bicipital Tendon Rupture: an injury that occurs when the tendon of the biceps muscle ruptures near the shoulder joint (or near the elbow joint)


How can chiropractic help ease shoulder pain?

The type of treatment to be given to the patient will depend on the the cause of pain and the method of injury. The goal of the chiropractor is to get the patient out of pain, increase both active and passive ranges of motion, and to restore normal function should a compromise be found.  Furthermore, the chiropractor may adjust/manipulate the shoulder region, the cervical and thoracic spine (as they may be a contributing factor of shoulder pain). Should you or anyone you know have shoulder pain, feel free to contact Dr. Eshanov at or call (973)900-2660.


Dr. Gary Eshanov, a Montclair chiropractor, can fill your need as a sports chiropractor (for sports injuries or to improve performance) or a family chiropractor (for basic aches and pains, and treating children), he also utilizes physical therapy modalities in an effort to maximally improve a patient’s condition and provides clinical nutritional counseling.