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Chiropractic Care for Shoulder Injuries

Published Date: 
September 9, 2022
A chiropractor is treating a man for a shoulder injury.

Using chiropractic care for shoulder injuries helps you manage pain and reduces the chances you’ll need surgery. Here’s what to know.

Can Chiropractors Help with Shoulder Injuries?

There are many different types of shoulder injuries, some of which can be quite serious. Many people are under the impression that chiropractic care can only help with back and neck pain, but this is not true. Chiropractors are also trained to treat other body parts, including the shoulders.

If you have suffered a shoulder injury, you may be wondering if chiropractic care can help speed up the healing process. The answer to this question depends on the specific type of shoulder injury you sustained.

Types of Shoulder Injuries and Conditions that Chiropractors Treat

Chiropractic care is effective for treating a wide range of shoulder injuries, including:

Rotator Cuff Injuries 

Chiropractic treatment can help to ease the pain and discomfort associated with a rotator cuff injury. The goal of chiropractic care is to improve range of motion and reduce inflammation. Treatment may also help to promote healing by stimulating the repair and regeneration of damaged tissue.

Dislocated Shoulder

Chiropractic treatment can also help treat individuals who have suffered a dislocated shoulder. The goal of chiropractic treatment is to realign the bones and joints so they function properly to reduce pain and inflammation while also improving range of motion. 

Shoulder Separation

A shoulder separation is a common injury that causes significant pain and discomfort. This condition occurs when the shoulder joint becomes dislocated. This joint is a ball-and-socket joint that allows the arm to move in a wide range of motions. However, the joint can become dislocated when the ligaments and muscles that support it are stretched or torn.

Chiropractic treatment can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with this condition.

Labral Tear

A labral tear is a tear in the cartilage that lines the socket of the shoulder joint. Again, the shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint, which means that the round head of the humerus or upper arm bone fits into a shallow socket in the shoulder blade. The socket is lined with a soft tissue called the labrum. The labrum deepens the socket and helps keep the head of the humerus in place.

Chiropractors may use manual manipulation, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound therapy to reduce inflammation and pain associated with this shoulder condition. In some cases, chiropractors may also recommend exercises or stretches to help strengthen the muscles and tissues surrounding the affected joint.

When treating a labral tear, the first goal of chiropractic care is to reduce pain and inflammation. Manipulation of the affected joint may be used to achieve this goal.

Frozen Shoulder

There are several different ways that chiropractors treat frozen shoulders. The most common is manipulative therapy, which involves using the hands to manipulate the joints and muscles in the affected area. It can help to stretch out the tissues and improve range of motion. 


Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon, the tough, fibrous tissue that connects muscle to bone. The most common type of tendonitis affects the shoulder. Repetitive motion or overuse of the affected joint can cause tendonitis. It can also be the result of an injury or infection. Chiropractors treat tendonitis by reducing the inflammation and pain in the affected area. 


Many things can cause shoulder impingement, including misaligned bones or joints, tight muscles, or inflammation. When impingement occurs, it can lead to pain, numbness, and weakness in the affected area.

Chiropractors treat this shoulder condition by realigning the bones and joints, stretching and strengthening the muscles, reducing inflammation, and bringing pain relief. They use a combination of manual adjustments, therapeutic exercises, and massage. In some cases, other treatments, such as electrical stimulation or ice, may also be used.


Bursitis of the shoulder is a condition that results when the fluid-filled sacs, or bursae, that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles in the shoulder become inflamed. This inflammation can be caused by overuse, injury, or infection. Bursitis of the shoulder often causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder and upper arm. 

Treatment typically involves rest, ice, and physical therapy. Chiropractic treatment is also effective for easing the inflammation associated with bursitis. 


A shoulder fracture is a serious injury that can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. While surgery and other treatment might be recommended for treating a shoulder fracture, there are times when chiropractic treatment may be an effective alternative.

Once your doctor has determined that surgery is unnecessary, they may refer you to a chiropractor.

The goal of treatment is to reduce pain and restore normal function to the shoulder. In most cases, chiropractic care can help patients recover from a shoulder fracture without needing surgery.

What Do Chiropractic Treatments for Shoulder Injuries Involve?

Chiropractors use several treatment options for treating shoulder injuries. These include:

Chiropractic Shoulder Adjustments

Chiropractors often use this adjustment to relieve pain from conditions like rotator cuff injuries, bursitis, and frozen shoulder syndrome. The adjustment involves using the hands to apply pressure to the joints and muscles in the shoulder area.


Chiropractic massage is a form of manual therapy that uses the hands to manipulate the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.


A chiropractic compression is a type of spinal manipulation used to relieve pain and improve functionality. The compression technique involves applying pressure to the spine with the hands to reduce compression on the vertebrae and discs. It can help alleviate pain, improve range of motion, and increase mobility.

Strengthening Exercises

Chiropractic strengthening exercises are a great way to help keep your spine healthy and your body functioning properly. There are many different types of these exercises, and they can be performed either in a group setting or individually. Chiropractic strengthening exercises can help improve your posture, flexibility, and range of motion.

Electro Muscular Stimulation

Electro muscular stimulation (EMS) is using electrical impulses to stimulate muscle contraction. 

EMS works by causing the muscles to contract and relax in response to electrical impulses. Electrical impulses generated by a machine are delivered through electrodes placed on the skin. The intensity of the electrical impulses can be adjusted, depending on the desired effect.

Improving Range of Motion 

One of the most common benefits of chiropractic care is an improvement in range of motion. When your joints are properly aligned, your muscles and ligaments can work more efficiently. This can lead to improved flexibility and a greater range of motion. In addition, chiropractic care can help to relieve pain and inflammation in the joints, which can also improve range of motion.

Reducing Inflammation and Pain in the Shoulder

Chiropractic care creates alignment and increases circulation, reducing inflammation and alleviating pain.

Expediate Your Shoulder Injury Recovery With Chiropractic Care

In addition to helping with pain management, chiropractic care can speed healing when dealing with shoulder injuries. Chiropractic care reduces inflammation and improves blood flow, reducing the length of time it takes for injuries to heal.


Shoulder injuries are some of the most common injuries that people suffer. And while there are many different ways to treat shoulder injuries, some methods are more effective than others. Chiropractic care is one of the safest and most effective treatment options available. 

Chiropractors use many techniques to help reduce pain and inflammation, increase range of motion, and speed up healing.

If you are suffering from a shoulder injury, it is important to consult with a qualified chiropractor to see if this type of treatment can help you heal faster.

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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