In my office, as well as many other chiropractic offices, pain while lifting overhead is one of the most common shoulder complaints. If this is something you have experienced, you understand that this is frustrating. You wonder: is something pinched?  Am I damaging tissues?  Will this get better or worse if I keep lifting?  What should I be doing about it?

For example, I had a wonderful patient of mine, let’s call her Sally, that came in for hip pain. However, in the first several visits, she mentioned that her shoulder was in a ton of pain when she lifted her arms up above horizontally. She had begun avoiding putting dishes away on higher shelves. She avoided any activities that involved lifting objects heavier than 20 pounds. She was frustrated. When Sally finally told me that she wanted to deal with her shoulder pain, too, I was glad to help.

We found that her shoulder pain was caused by an impingement in the top of the shoulder. What did that mean for Sally? 

It meant that the shoulder tendons needed more room to move inside the joint and she was an excellent candidate for movement therapy. I performed a specific movement on her 50-60 times, and her pain when lifting her arm all the way up to her ear almost completely disappeared.

She was amazed! 

Now, we had to do this over multiple visits and she had homework exercises to perform to help create more joint space. Sally committed and was able to put dishes away and lift whatever she needed to at work and at home.