Shoulder Problems

Shoulder Problems / Injuries

The shoulder joint is commonly injured whether you are an athlete or not. A normal functioning shoulder is a marvel and integration of muscular activity. One might think the shoulder is a rather simple structure to understand, but in reality it is a complicated joint involving numerous muscles, nerves, and bony structures. These structures must work together as one unit, in order to be considered normal.

The shoulder socket includes the scapula (shoulder blade). In the front (anterior), the scapula attaches to the breast bone (sternum) via the collar bone. From the back, the scapula is stabilize by numerous but specific muscles. There is no direct joint attachment. As the arm goes through its full range of motion, there is literally a symphony of muscular action taking place. As certain muscles contract to raise the arm, others relax at precisely the correct time to allow freedom of motion and smoothness of movement. There are over twenty muscles directly or indirectly involved in shoulder action, making very complex integration of muscle activity necessary. The shoulder socket is very shallow, requiring excellent organization of the muscles to maintain proper movement.

Nearly all shoulder problems correlate to some degree with improper muscle activity. Because of the very important role played by muscles in normal shoulder function, they should always be examined whenever there is a shoulder involvement. The muscles should be tested for strength and length, as well as for integration of activity with one another.

Muscles usually become weak or too strong from some type of injury. Specific ligament, joint, or muscle damage is often observed after an injury; however, a muscular imbalance that results as a secondary problem of the injury may not be observed by the attending physician. If muscular imbalance is not treated, a shoulder will continue to manifest symptoms long after the injury has healed. It also leaves an imbalance present for easy recurrence of problems or constant strain in the shoulder.

Common Shoulder Problems

Slipped  Bicipital Tendon

A tendon is the fibrous band that attaches a muscle to a bone. The biceps muscle – the large muscle in the front of your arm – attaches by way of a tendon to the scapula. This tendon lies in the groove; it can slip out of the groove as a result of injury that usually occurs because of a sudden jar while the biceps brachii muscle is contracted. A typical example is a workman carrying one end of a plank when his helper accidentally drops the other end, causing a severe jarring to his arm. Usually, treatment for this problem, consist of moving the tendon back into the groove and then immobilizing the shoulder to aid the healing process. In addition, one must also account for the inflammation surrounding the joint which usually requires treatment and supplementation. Inflammation can and will slow down the healing process. It can also complicate the injury. It is very important to have Dr. Sahara evaluate, and treat the injury quickly.

Acromioclavicular Injury

The joint between the collarbone and the shoulder blade is often injured, especially in athletic endeavors. This injury is frequently treated with manipulation (chiropractic adjustments) of the joint, designed to avoid any strain to the already injured ligaments. Sometimes immobilization is needed after treatment; if the ligament injury is extremely severe, surgery may be indicated.

Ligament Injury

Trauma to the shoulder joint often causes ligament injury. Ligaments are the fibrous bands holding bone to bone; they are components of almost all joints. Here again, immobilization is often needed for healing to take place. Whenever ligaments, tendons, or bones are injured, specific nutritional supplementation to aid the healing process may be indicated. If the ligament is painful and inflamed from physical activity or repetitive actions, there could be a possible blood sugar handling, as well as adrenal illness problem involved.


Dislocation often results from severe injury, means that the arm portion of the shoulder joint has come completely out of the socket. Some individuals with improper muscle and ligament function can have a shoulder that slips out of place with certain motions when no injury is involved. This condition can frequently be corrected by an applied kinesiologist who examines the muscular balance and integration of muscle activity, and then makes the indicated corrections.

Frozen Shoulder

Inability to raise the arm above a certain point is a relatively common shoulder problem. This is often attributed to factors such as ligament inflammation, arthritis, or bursitis; however, it is most commonly the result of improper muscle function. As mentioned earlier, there is a symphony of muscular activity in every shoulder motion. Sometimes the muscles attempting to lift the arm are incapable of doing so because the muscles acting in the opposite direction fail to relax (turn off) at the appropriate time. Activity of certain muscles are necessary in the process of lifting the arm to keep the socket from “jamming” or dislocating, which impedes arm elevation. Sometimes there may be complete correction of a “frozen shoulder” in a matter of minutes after an applied kinesiology examination and treatment – even if the arm has not risen above a certain point in years. Determining muscular coordination and strength is necessary for the successful treatment of this condition.

Arthritis & Bursitis

These terms refer respectively to inflammation of the joint and inflammation of the bursa. A bursa is a lubricating membrane/ sac of the joint. Arthritis or bursitis is often secondary in nature to another, primary problem. Inflammation develops as a result of some irritating factor. A shoulder not moving in a synchronous manner becomes very irritated, and the inflammatory process develops. Synchronous movement of the shoulder joint depends absolutely on harmonious activity of all the muscles involved in shoulder activity. When the diagnosis of arthritis or bursitis is made, anti-inflammatory drugs are often given in tablet form or by injection directly into the shoulder structure. The injections are usually steroid hormones. These medications often only temporary relief, however, they do nothing to remove the cause of the inflammation. Consequently, the patient needs more drugs and injections. As a result, many side-effects manifest, making the patient worst. Another approach is to remove the cause and allow the symptoms to subside by themselves, preventing the possible side-effects of drugs. Whenever, arthritis or bursitis is present in a shoulder, the muscular strength and coordination of all the muscles involved with shoulder activity must be examined.

Other Causes of Shoulder Problems

Listed above are some of the more common problems directly associated with the shoulder. There are many symptoms of the shoulder involvement – such as pain or limitation of motion – when the primary problem is not in the shoulder at all. It can easily be in the neck, pelvis, wrists, forearm, feet, or internal organs. Many times, unless trauma was present; Dr. Sahara, usually finds the cause to a frozen shoulder or other shoulder problems, is in the feet. The patient came to the clinic complaining about his/her shoulder. After an extensive applied kinesiology examination, Dr. Sahara, correct the feet; the shoulder muscles rebalanced, therefore the complaint was fixed! The remote problem could cause symptoms in the shoulder by structural stress, interference with normal nerve action to the shoulder, or by referred pain.

Whenever there is a shoulder problem, the total body should be examined. After initial healing process has been completed, the shoulder should be re-examined for muscular strength and harmony. This helps prevent future problems that may associated with the muscle imbalance.

Written by Systems DC, Pueblo, CO, 1991, edited and added by Darrick E Sahara, D.C., Inc.

“When educated intelligence can communicate with innate intelligence, a point at which not too distant future may hold, then a correct diagnosis and treatment will be made and rendered.”

– DD Palmer, chiropractic founding father

“The body has a unique system of identifying its needs both in terms of food and nutritional supplementation, as well as medication, and the nutrient in question can be tested against any of the patient’s lingual receptors on the tongue: a muscle tested, and if the food is good or neutral the muscle will not weaken. If the food, although very appetizing and well liked, is detrimental to the patient the muscle will weaken. This same true of a nutrient or any medication. This makes sense out of a hit-or-miss sort of nutritional thing, and rather than listening to symptoms alone, we depend on body reaction, a much more effective technique.”

-George Goodheart, Jr., D.C., D.I.B.A.K, Applied Kinesiology founder

“One the biggest tragedies of human civilization is the precedence of chemical therapy over nutrition. It’s a substitution of artificial therapy over natural, of poisons over food, in which we are feeding people poisons in trying to correct the reactions of starvation.”

– Royal Lee, D.M.D., founder of Standard Process