Chiropractors treat that too?

It happens almost every day, we are treating a patient for low back or neck pain and they casually mention that they have been struggling with pain in other areas of their body, unaware that we can treat more than just common back pain.

More often than not, if your pain is related to muscles, joints or ligaments, WE TREAT IT!

Perhaps it’s your pesky golfers elbow or IT Band Syndrome or even headaches. These are all things the Chiropractors at Lakeside Spine and Wellness are well qualified to treat.

One thing that we love to treat is shoulder pain. Whether that shoulder pain is coming from the neck, there is a rotator cuff issue, frozen shoulder or trauma, our doctors offer effective and comprehensive treatments for our patients.

Shoulder pain has a prevalence rate of anywhere between 6%-46% of the population in a given year. It can be difficult to treat, and often outcomes of standard treatments are less than stellar. Common diagnoses for shoulder pain include impingement syndrome, rotator cuff tear, bicipital tendonitis, labral tear, AC separation and frozen shoulder.

How are these diagnoses made? Oftentimes they include a health history and exam, a couple of non-specific orthopedic tests, and imaging (x-ray or MRI). However, research shows time and again that findings on imaging rarely correlates to the source of pain and the orthopedic testing many physicians count on are non-specific.

A few major points need to be considered when treating the shoulder effectively:

  1. With the exception of major trauma, conservative care (Chiropractic, rehab) is shown to be equal to or superior to surgery after 1 year post intervention.

  2. An image does not give us significant information in the overall function of the muscles, joints and tendons. A physical exam where the patient is moved, evaluated and assessed is far more valuable.

  3. Here’s the big one- 47.6% of shoulder pain isn’t coming from the shoulder at all, it is coming from the neck. 

When considering how to proceed if you are struggling with shoulder pain, here are some important things to consider:

  • First, unless you’ve suffered a significant trauma, it is unlikely you will need surgery or pharmaceuticals.

  • Second, find a practitioner-Chiropractor or PT that is familiar with MDT- Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy, commonly known as The Mckenzie Method. (Learn more about MDT here:

  • You may fall into the 50% of people where the shoulder is completely fine, but you are just getting pain referral from the neck. This is very common and very treatable. 

  • The best way to evaluate and treat the shoulder involves learning its current capabilities and limitations by moving, loading, and stressing various tissues of the shoulder.

  • Finally, addressing those joint, muscle, and tendon dysfunctions with education, exercise, and positive experiences through movement.

You can explore more things that we treat at Lakeside Spine and Wellness, including hip and knee pain, headaches, chiropractic pregnancy care, TMJ, plantar fasciitis and more here:


What to take from this post:

  • The Chiropractors at Lakeside diagnose and treat the root causes of a wide range of neck and shoulder pain using the McKenzie Method of MDT.

  • Almost half of all shoulder pain is actually coming from the neck!

  • Unless you’ve experienced significant trauma, surgery and pharmaceuticals are unnecessary forms of treatment.

  • Education, exercise, and positive experiences through movement are more sustainable ways to treat your neck and shoulder pain.

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