Shoulder Pain and Sports Chiropractic

Shoulder Pain and Sports Chiropractic

At My Sports Chiropractor, Sydney we take the time to complete a thorough history and examination to identify and treat the cause not just the source of your shoulder pain and discomfort.

Those who have experienced a shoulder injury and associated shoulder pains will tell you, it is an annoying and uncomfortable injury. It is no wonder that shoulder pain is the third most common complaint to our health practice.

The shoulder is an extremely complex and mobile joint that relies considerable amount on surrounding musculature, tendons and ligaments to provide stability and strength. When something goes wrong with your shoulder, it hampers your ability to move freely. As a result it can cause a significant amount of pain and discomfort.

If left untreated, shoulder pain can be debilitating and persistent, and can limit your ability to perform at your optimum level in your chosen sport.


Shoulder and arm pain can significantly restrict your movement particularly when competing in sports such as Rugby, Tennis, Swimming and Basketball. This limited range of movement will affect your ability to perform at your best and can have a flow on effect to your everyday activities such as washing your hair or brushing your teeth.

Some symptoms to look out for with shoulder pain:

  • ‘Pinching’ sensation when raising the arm or reaching out
  • Sharp pain, tingling or numbness traveling down the arm with or without movement
  • Weakness in your arm or grip
  • Throbbing and aching in shoulder whilst sleeping on the painful side
  • Neck aches and shoulder stiffness
  • Feeling like your shoulder will “pop” (instability)
  • Appearance that the shoulder is lower and falls forward


Shoulder pain is more often than not a progressive onset of soreness. In our Sports Chiropractic clinic, we often hear from patients “it started off as a little pain and gradually got worse”. Unless there has been a sudden trauma, shoulder injuries and associated pain commonly occur due to a series of small injuries that have been untreated for an extended period of time.

Correct diagnosis of your shoulder pain is critical to success of treatment. Identifying the correct cause will determine how quickly your will begin to feel better and move more efficiently.

Common causes that will alter the way the shoulder moves and as a result cause shoulder pain include:

  • Rotator cuff injuries or tears due to repetitive movements such as weight lifting, baseball and tennis.
  • Impingement – pinching of tendons between bones that make up the shoulder complex. Commonly from repetitive movements
  • Trauma such as car accidents, falls or contact sports
  • Bursitis
  • Poor posture with neck or mid back pain
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Arthritis and spurs due to wear and tear from previous shoulder injuries.
  • Instability – commonly due to shoulder dislocations or an underlying medical issue creating ligament laxity
  • Fractures, tumours and previous surgeries

Shoulder pain doesn’t necessarily have to be sharp. It can present as vague aches and discomfort. Underlying structures such as the heart, liver, diaphragm and lungs when under stress can present as shoulder aches and discomfort also. 

Your qualified Sports Chiropractor will undertake a thorough history and physical examination to assist in diagnosing your condition. Explain exactly what it is that your are experiencing so your Chiropractor can best assist you.

What To Expect Without Treatment

Shoulder injuries are commonly left unattended once pain settles. However each small injury sustained by our body begins a series of changes throughout the shoulder. Commonly, our body will alter the way the shoulder moves to reduce the level of pain experienced. This change in movement pattern or ‘compensation’ of the shoulder can create further complications and develop more pain.
If your shoulder injury is left untreated, associated shoulder pain can become debilitating and persistent. This can directly impact your lifestyle, limiting your ability to enjoy the things you love and reduce your ability to perform at your best in your chosen sport.

Depending on your age, how long you have had the injury for, and the type of injury sustained, you may experience the following:

  • Degeneration or wearing down of the joint
  • Poor movement patterns leading to increased chances of re-injury
  • Muscle wasting or shrinking
  • Chronic limitation of movement of the shoulder
  • Added emotional stress to your daily life if the shoulder pain limits you from completing every day tasks such as brushing teeth or training.
  • Possibly Surgery if taken beyond the point of conservative care

How We Can Help You ?

Your qualified Sports Chiropractor and/or Massage therapist at My Sports Chiropractor will undertake a thorough history and physical examination to assist in diagnosing your condition. It is recommended that you explain exactly what it is that your are experiencing so your therapist can best assist you in providing the best care possible.

We understand the requirements of athletes and sports persons. Our goal is to assist in improving your shoulder pain, range and most importantly function to get you back into doing what you love. Avoiding steroid injections for your shoulder is what we strive for. We also work with highly experienced Sports Physicians, Sports Physiotherapists and Orthopaedic Specialists who we can call on to help give you the best advice for your condition.

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Take the first step to moving freely again.

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