One of the most common modern-day ailments is shoulder aches and its what a good majority of the ailments of the people that come in to see us. Stationary position over an extended period is probably the biggest culprit for this. Some people blame it on the mobile phones, and although I don’t discount it, I would still say sitting for hours at work or studying for hours as a student would be the primary driver of shoulder aches. As a Chiropractor in Singapore, I can’t help but notice people’s shoulders when watching them eat at Raffles Place in the CBD. This is observed by stretching or rubbing their shoulder, and at times seeing them having cupping marks from their TCM.
Cupping, massage, and even physio can be great solutions to take away the muscle tension, but these solutions do not address structural alignment. This is when Chiropractic comes into the picture. Chiropractors check the ailment of the body and adjust the segments in place to make sure the body is structurally aligned. The upper cervical plays a significant role in this as was mentioned in this article. Chiropractors help mobilize their segments around the neck and shoulder by adjusting the vertebra. Some call it spinal manipulation, but most Chiropractors prefer to call it “adjustment.” Nomenclature aside Chiropractors are the best trained at performing spinal adjustments because the education is specific on teaching us to do so. Physios can also manipulate spines, but a majority of their training is on soft tissue work along with helping patients recover from traumatic injuries, i.e., stroke, post surgery, sprains from doing things like sports. Soft tissue work accounts for muscles, ligaments, fascia, and tendons. Osteopaths are similar to Chiropractors however there are far more Chiropractors in the world than Osteopaths. Massage therapist sometimes manipulates the spine, but they are usually the least trained.
There are indeed ways of preventing or minimizing shoulder aches if there aren’t too many structural problems. If you are working in front of a computer, all day then getting up every 20-30 minutes to spend a few seconds to will help significantly since the body is designed to move. Having a desk that can move between standing and sitting can give your body more variation, further into that, standing in front of a computer will allow your weight to distribute to the legs and hips instead of a sitting where stress is at the shoulders and lower back.
Yoga and Pilates can strengthen your core to help stabilize the spine so your body can withstand long periods of stress. Also having stability can prevent the vertebra from misaligning. Furthermore developing flexibility is equally important as strengthening your core. When an architect and engineer build a bridge, there are different types of steel that they have to account for. If the steel is too rigid and robust it will break, if the steel is also too flexible, then it will be unable to support heavy loads. The spine and rest of any tissue in the body aren’t any different. Various stretches in Yoga can help the body release a hormone called Elastin which can nourish the cells in your body to handle stress better by making the tissues in your body flexible.
The Role of Chiropractic Care
Chiropractors play an intimate role in the progression between well-being and early signs of stress-related disease. We are trained to give people advice and make wise decisions regarding peoples health. Most people come in with some kind symptom in their spine, and Chiropractic typically does a good job helping people with those things, but most Chiropractor intends to get people beyond pain and towards feeling whole. Many practices focus on the structural part of Chiropractic which is to align the spine and it is vital, but I can easily say by going to a Chiropractor who has a deeper purpose to what they are doing will radically move you towards healing. Think of it this way, if you are going to a restaurant and the chef looks at food as a means of making people happy and creating an experience, wouldn’t their food taste better than someone that is just cooking to feed you or cooking to survive?
How do Chiropractic adjustments help with shoulder aches?
Chiropractic adjustments help mobilize the vertebra at the cervical vertebra or the neck, shoulders and upper thoracic or midback. When these areas in your spine move better, tension usually goes away. Forward posture is a big problem for many people and having these areas in your spine adjusted will help improve the posture. The upper cervical plays a significant role in the resolution of shoulder aches as highlighted above and if people are stationary at work, the shoulder aches will be a chronic problem. How long you are in front of the desk will dictate how often they need to come in for adjustments.