New Research Sheds Light on Chiropractic and Shoulder Degeneration

Research News Staff
New Research Sheds Light on Chiropractic and Shoulder Degeneration

Research Reveals Chiropractic May Alleviate Suffering 

Recent research reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on a man suffering from frozen shoulder for over 20 years showed that chiropractic may play an important role in managing these patients and calls for more research in this area.

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“Research indicates that shifts in the structure of the spine may impact function, suggesting that these structural shifts may be a factor in a number of disorders, like frozen shoulder.” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. 

McCoy stated, “It’s simple when you think about it because nerves from the neck control the muscles of the neck, upper back, and shoulder and the result of adjustments to the neck yielded dramatic improvement in shoulder range of motion and decrease in pain in this case.” 

This case study describes a 68-year-old patient with frozen shoulder after two falls over 20 years ago. He noticed an increased stiffness in the shoulder.  He also noticed a rapid decline in his shoulder range of motion.  The pain was the worse in the lower neck, upper back, and back of the shoulder.  He also had lower back pain, knee pain, and hand pain.  Activities such as driving, working, or exercising provoked more pain and became difficult for him. He could no put on a shirt without the help of his wife.  Medication did not help him. 

The chiropractor examined him and found structural shifts in his neck, shoulder, arm, mid back, low back, and pelvis.  Muscle wasting was noted at his shoulder.  Muscle spasms and tenderness was noted in his neck, upper back, and lower back.   X-rays confirmed these findings.  These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. 

Following chiropractic adjustments, he had improved neck, upper back, lower back, and shoulder range of motion.  The shoulder pain decreased, and he was able to put his shirt and jacket on without assistance.  

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population.

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research
McCoy Press