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Smart Shoulders

Our shoulder joints have the greatest range of motion of any of the musculoskeletal joints in our bodies. The shoulder joint is really two joints, the glenohumeral joint between the arm bone (humerus) and the shoulder blade (scapula) and the acromioclavicular joint between the acromion (a bony projection off the scapula) and the collarbone (clavicle). The glenohumeral joint is a ball-and-socket joint and the acromioclavicular joint is a gliding joint.

Acting together, these joints enable the shoulder to achieve a full 360º of motion in both the frontal (side to side) and sagittal (front and back) three-dimensional planes. The important caveat is that this extensive freedom of motion comes with a price: the shoulder not only has the most mobility, but is also the most unstable joint in the body.

The glenohumeral joint may be easily dislocated, most typically by a fall on an outstretched arm. The ligaments of the acromioclavicular joint are easily sprained and the joint itself is easily dislocated. Acromioclavicular joint injuries may be described as "AC separations". Overall, injuries to the shoulder joint are common, most frequently experienced by people participating in exercise activities and sports and by older people as a result of a fall.

The shoulder joint has built-in protection in the form of the four muscles comprising the rotator cuff, the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis.1 The rotator cuff muscles participate in all shoulder joint and upper arm motions and provide stabilization to the shoulder as the joint moves through three-dimensional space. But the rotator cuff muscle group is itself subject to injury (muscle tears) and degeneration as a person ages of the tendons that attach the muscles to the shoulder and arm bones.

Thus, the shoulder joint needs additional protections to maintain its structural integrity and mechanical performance.

In days gone by, people did demanding physical work every day, automatically providing training and resilience to the anatomical components of the shoulder. But in the 21st century, with the decline of the farming and manufacturing sectors and the rise of the service economy, most people no longer engage in actual physical work. As a result, most of us require regular vigorous exercise to maintain physical fitness and good health. With specific respect to the shoulder, upper body strength training exercises will help provide the necessary activity and mobility to ensure ongoing functionality of our shoulder joints. 2,3

As well, obtaining regular chiropractic care helps ensure that our spines are working properly, providing effective mechanical support to our shoulder joints, and that our nerve systems are working at high levels to coordinate all the physiological activities necessary to our long-term health and well-being.

  1. Sangwan S, et al: Stabilizing characteristics of rotator cuff muscles: a systematic review. Disabil Rehabil 37(12):1033-1043, 2015

  2. Heron SR, et al: Comparison of three types of exercise in the treatment of rotator cuff tendinopathy/shoulder impingement syndrome: A randomized controlled trial. Physiotherapy 103(2):167-173, 2017

  3. Abdulla SY, et al: Is exercise effective for the management of subacromial impingement syndrome and other soft tissue injuries of the shoulder? A systematic review by the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) Collaboration. Man Ther 20(5):646-656, 2015

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  • ""We began seeing Dr. Amit for my 8 week old son mainly because he had an externally rotated foot. He also was not sleeping well on his back due to reflux. Dr. Amit took the time to listen to and address our concerns. He carefully and compassionately treated our son, explaining the process with every visit. We have been getting regular adjustments for about a month now and have already noticed some improvement in his foot. He is much happier and sleeping longer while lying on his back and his range of motion in his neck has greatly improved. I’d definitely recommend Dr. Amit for your family chiropractic needs.""
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  • ""I came to Dr. Ofek at 38 weeks pregnant in desperation because i couldn't walk without assistance. the pelvic pain and lower back pain was unbearable i wasn't sleeping. Went to hospital and because i wasn't in labor there was nothing they could do. I went and got adjusted and instantly felt a whole lot better!!! I could walk without it feeling like my hips and pelvic bones were gonna break. I went back 3 days in a row and it made a world of difference. I delivered my baby 3 days later. I'm going back today only 3 days after delivery to get everything back in line.""
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  • "Dr. Ofek was such an important part of my healthcare during my pregnancy. Although I was seeing a chiropractor, by the start of my 3rd trimester I was having extreme low back pain and was having trouble walking and getting through the day. I have a very active job and was worried I would have to stop working early which would limit my time at home with my baby after delivery. I switched practices and started to work with Dr. Ofek. By the 3rd visit I was feeling much better. After a few more visits I started to feel better than ever. I went on a two mile hike at 39 weeks and enjoyed every minute of it! Now I tell everyone I meet about the amazing effectiveness of the Webster technique and how much I appreciate Dr. Ofek.""
    Heather
  • ""We have been taking my 3.5 month old son to Dr. Ofek for a few weeks now to correct a flat spot on his head and to help with the fact that he was only turning his head to one side. After just a couple sessions I started to see improvement. My sons neck strength is much better now and he willingly turns his head both ways, even while sleeping!""
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  • ""Dr. Ofek is the best! My son was born with torticollis (tightening of the neck muscle) on his left side which caused him to favor his right side and develop plagiocephaly. After many months of physical therapy, we had very little improvement with his torticollis. My son was facing possible surgery to fix the neck muscle and that was the last thing I wanted to do. I was very skeptical about taking my infant son to a chiropractor but Dr. Ofek was very knowledgeable of his condition and had tons of experience with babies. Within 3 weeks of seeing Dr. Ofek, my son graduated from physical therapy with absolutely no signs of torticollis and no need for surgery!!! He will also have his cranial helmet off next month that was needed to correct the plagiocephaly (flat spot) he developed in the process. I can't praise Dr. Ofek enough! He has been such a blessing to us!""
    Tiffany

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