Shoulder Bursitis and Rotator Cuffs | Auckland Health and Performance

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Hello cool human reading my article

I just wanted to write a super simple, helpful article breaking down rotator cuff problems and shoulder bursitis. To also share a few thoughts on how sports chiropractors, think and treat shoulders and the people attached to them

Its important to note that everything is connected. We must take a holistic approach to get bullet proof shoulders. This is how I think about shoulder pain diagnosis

So, let’s break it down

What’s connected to the shoulder

Mid back
Shoulder Blade

We could go deeper, but let’s just KISS (Keep it simple stupid)

We must start with the position and movement of the neck, mid back and shoulder blade.

The neck, midback and shoulder blade should be assessed

  1. Individually or Segmentally
  2. As a unit. This is called the scapulohumeral rhythm if you want to get fancy

If this rhythm is clunky – then we have a problem

It should be smooth and generally symmetrical side to side

The shoulder blade must glide up.

If it doesn’t glide and gets hitched along the way. It’s going to irritate soft tissues in the shoulders and create things like shoulder bursitis and rotator cuff problems

Soft tissues like muscles/tendons/ligaments and fascia in the body should slide like dental floss between your teeth.

When the soft tissues catch – they aren’t sliding properly – we get tendon problems and inflamed bursa, which creates your shoulder pain

We have got to be real sure it’s not referred pain from the neck… Just like you can get sciatica or lower back pain that can refer down into your legs and give you pain.

You can have some joints in your neck lacking movement causing pain to be felt in behind the shoulder blade for example

Maybe you’re having a few more headaches recently too?
You may also be experience bicep tenderness or even elbow pain?

A problem I often see with the lifting community who are squatting the low bar position

Shoulder Pain Treatment

1. Open the mid back

2. Get the neck joints moving well

3. Improve the health of the soft tissue

Primary muscles of the shoulder – Rotator Cuff
Muscles behind the shoulder – Lats, Triceps
Muscles in front of the shoulder – Pecs


How do we treat shoulder problems?

Calm it down (Reduce pain) and then build it up (make it stronger) is my motto

Passive therapies – Chiropractic adjustments, Mobilisations, Dry Needling, Cupping, Trigger point, Soft tissue Release, Massage, stretching, foam rolling and anything else in the tool kit

Active therapies – Improve the movement pattern, prescribe exercise to stabilize the shoulder joint, wake up muscles that are not firing, find the technique flaw and correct it

Lifestyle modification – Work ergonomics, Sleeping position, Pillows or posture

Hopefully this will provide you some insights into how sports chiropractors think about shoulder pain and get you on the road to finding some relief for your shoulder pain

Please send me an email with further questions, or BOOK NOW and I will do my best to sort you out!