With a sometimes undeciphered origin, patients experience shoulder pain at a level and frequency that quickly becomes unmanageable. While shoulder pain can be a result of several factors, at times the diagnosis of shoulder pain is not what matters to patients, it’s an option to relieve it. There are times when patients experience a level of pain in their shoulders that causes them to only care about the treatment for the pain. However, effective treatment depends on diagnostics and knowing what the problem is. As we have discussed in many articles, there are often many possible options, and sometimes co-morbid causes of pain a patient is feeling. If a patient has not been diagnosed properly it could be that the treatment options being offered won’t be as effective. Knowing the origin of the pain is important otherwise it is possible that the treatment they undergo will not only be less effective but counteractive to their condition. Understanding and educating oneself on the origin of shoulder your pain and the treatment options that will help the most is the most important part of the process.
For decades, physicians have been tracking the prevalence of patients seeking shoulder treatment. As early as 2005, Dr. Caroline Mitchell and her associates found that, “[s]elf reported prevalence of shoulder pain is estimated to be between 16% and 26%; it is the third most common cause of musculoskeletal consultation in primary care, and approximately 1% of adults consult a general practitioner with new shoulder pain annually” (2005). With that in mind, patients can be sure that as they seek treatment, they will likely know someone else who has suffered from or is currently seeking treatment for their shoulder pain.
Patients in search of an origin to their shoulder pain will often be met with several results to scroll through online. Before patients attempt to self-diagnose the condition of their shoulder pain, it is recommended that they seek the opinion of a medical professional. But, for the sake of helping patients understand the most common causes of shoulder pain, we will cover the most general aspects of these conditions so that patients will not only feel more confident in the knowledge they’ve gained but be sure that the treatment they choose for their condition is right for them and their specific condition.
One of the most common causes of shoulder pain, especially for patients who have not suffered a serious injury, is simply that they may have slept on their shoulder at a bad angle. This is typically the case for patients who are overweight and experience the height of their shoulder pain in the morning. If patients can determine whether their shoulder pain is a result of poor positioning during sleep, it is unlikely they will need a medical intervention or extensive treatment. If this is the case, it is recommended that patients attempt to sleep on their back or stomach, attempt to diet and exercise (especially shoulder exercises), and stretch their shoulders before bedtime. Patients who are able to reduce their weight are less likely to experience shoulder pain in the morning because the reduced weight lends itself to relieving pressure on the shoulder joint.
In somewhat of a contrast to uncomfortable sleeping positions that contribute to shoulder pain is the overuse of the shoulder. Dr. Mitchell explains that, “[o]ccupations as diverse as construction work and hairdressing are associated with a higher risk of shoulder disorders. Physical factors such as lifting heavy loads, repetitive movements in awkward positions, and vibrations influence the level of symptoms and disability, and psychosocial factors are also important”. When patients have a typically strenuous occupation that requires them to do heavy lifting, if they have exercised their shoulders in excess, or if they have not properly stretched the shoulder tendons before lifting, it is very possible they will experience shoulder pain.
At times, those who have not experienced shoulder pain may not recognize the seriousness or life-altering conditions of shoulder pain, especially when life calls for the patient to be physically capable. Dr. Deborah L. Greenberg explains the life-altering aspects with the following: “Shoulder problems can significantly affect a patient’s ability to work and other activities of daily life such as driving, dressing, brushing hair, and even eating” (2014). If patients with shoulder pain are incapable of even dressing or eating, can we really expect them to work under strenuous conditions.
Not unlike shoulder pain as a result of poor sleep, shoulder pain as a result of overuse is largely self-correctable and treatable without medical intervention. If patients are experiencing a level of pain that is unbearable when lifting heavy objects at work or the gym, it is recommended that patients stretch and prepare themselves before lifting those objects. If patients ever feel that a load might be too much for their shoulders to handle, it is imperative that they stop what they are doing and ask for assistance. If the pain persists in an occupational setting, medical intervention may be necessary. However, this is not always true, as patients who have strenuous occupations will often and rightly seek occupations that they know their body will be able to handle. In the end, a good rule-of-thumb is to listen to your shoulders. Not listening to your body’s signals will often lead to injury and a stronger need for correction and extensive treatment.
The misuse of shoulders will eventually lead to heavy strain and, typically, a spraining of the shoulder that is the third most common type of shoulder pain. In the case of a shoulder sprain, medical intervention and diagnosis will be necessary. This is not to say that shoulder sprains are always a result of ignorance or persistence on the part of the patient but patients who do experience injury are often refusing to listen to the signals their shoulders are sending. However, the shoulder is complex and if the origin of pain is not clear, that is not at all surprising. As Dr. Greenberg explains, “‘[t]he shoulder’ consists of a complex array of bones, muscles, tendons, and nerves, making the cause of pain seem difficult to decipher. Shoulder pain can be caused by structures within the shoulder or can arise from problems external to the shoulder”. Because of the complex structure and operation of the shoulder, the cause of pain is not always clear.
Dr. Greenberg claims to have found the most common cause of shoulder-related injuries and states that, “[t]he rotator cuff provides stabilization to the glenohumeral joint and contributes to mobility and strength of the shoulder. Disease of the rotator cuff is the most common cause of shoulder pain seen in clinical practice”. If disease of the rotator cuff is the most common cause of shoulder pain seen in clinical practice, this means that patients who elect to seek diagnosis and treatment for shoulder pain have likely experienced the pain on a chronic basis. In contrast, patients who experience a sparingly low frequency of pain, say from bad sleep positioning or basic strain, are unlikely to seek treatment from a clinic.
Those who have been diagnosed with disease of the rotator cuff will be curious to know the risk factors associated with their diagnosis and the possible pathogenesis of the disease. Dr. Greenberg continues to explain that, “[t]he prevalence of rotator cuff disease increases with age, obesity, diabetes, and chronic diseases that affect the strength of the shoulder such as stroke”. With the common comorbidities in mind, patients can take the first step in addressing their rotator cuff disease. While there are some risk factors that cannot be changed, patients can take action for others. For example, while patients cannot necessarily reduce their age or stop aging altogether, they can address their weight and assess whether their weight is contributing to the pathogenesis of their rotator cuff disease.
Once patients understand the origin of their shoulder pain, whether it is a result of rotator cuff disease or an isolated irritation of the shoulder, they can start to seek out the most effective treatment options. Neurofunctional Pain Management with Neuragenex is quickly becoming one of the most effective options for shoulder pain as it is a non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, non-invasive, and non-chiropractic pain treatment program. Neurofunctional Pain Management uses a combination of high pulse electrical stimulation therapy and specialized nutritional hydration therapy to relieve pain and restore health. This category of pain management may quickly become the first step in the journey of chronic pain management due to the safety of the program. There will always be a place for drugs, surgeries, spinal injections, implants, and chiropractic care, however we believe that a genuine effort to relieve pain and restore health using the safe and effective protocols of Neurofunctional Pain Management should be the first option for patients. Given the choice of all the options available, patients and doctors would choose Neurofunctional Pain Management over all these other conventional options mentioned.
Neuragenex has created and pioneered the field of Neurofunctional Pain Management and has created a unique and proprietary treatment protocols that administers multiple aspects of therapy over the course of several weeks to treat chronic pain. Extensive diagnostics help to confirm the condition and to report success in the pain treatment effort and before and after blood work to report on the health restoration effort. The combination of high pulse electrical stimulation with concurrent IV hydration therapy is called Neuralgesia and works by sending high-pulse electrical stimulation to the affected region, depolarizing pain neurons and repairing damages vascular tissues and other tissues. When a patient experiences pain, it is a signal to the brain that something needs to be done, which triggers an inflammation cycle that also causes more pain. This is the pain/inflammation negative feedback loop that occurs with chronic pain conditions. Many medications and treatments are specifically designed to reduce inflammation in order to interrupt this negative feedback loop. However, even if a patient is unable to treat the condition on their own, the pain will continue to signal. As patients go through a course of Neurofunctional Pain Management treatment with Neuragenex, they may experience a very safe and effective version of interrupting this pain/inflammation cycle.
High pulse electrical stimulation interferes with pain signaling, eliminating the pain reporting cycle which in turn reduces the inflammation response. Specialized hydration therapy also reduces inflammation by hydrating the tissues and providing a dilution effect that helps to remove hydrogen ion concentrations in the inflamed tissues. These two therapies combined create a strong pain relief effect that may endure for a long period of time. All this while improving the overall health of patients will help create a longer pain relief effect than with just electrical therapy alone. The combination makes the treatment effective and since the entire process is safe for the vast majority of patients, it is an ideal first step in the process of pain relief. Ideally patients can get out of pain and back into a state of good health and effectively be able to return to functionality, improving quality of life.
Neuragenex intends to magnify quality of life as one of its core treatment models. This is a result of both pain relief and health restoration that improved the mental outlook of the patient’s chronic condition. Improved mental outlook is one of the greatest accomplishments in the process. If a patient can see a path to success their entire life can change for the better. Neuragenex is more than just pain relief, it’s pain relief, with health restoration and magnified quality of life through Neurofunctional Pain Management.