Shoulder Pain, Neck Pain and Chiropractic

A report on the scientific literature 

William J. Owens DC, DAAMLP


Many people experience pain in the upper back area between the bottom of the neck and the shoulders.  There is a very large muscle there called the trapezius muscle.  Doctors of chiropractic have long understood the relationship between the nervous system and the rest of the body.  In this area, the part of the nervous system that controls the trapezius is actually found in the neck.  A research paper was presented that sought to determine whether a chiropractic adjustment to the neck at specific levels of the spine would result in reduced sensitivity to pain in the shoulders.  What they found was VERY interesting.

The authors stated, “Our results suggest that a cervical spine manipulation [chiropractic adjustment] directed at the C3 through C4 segment induced changes in pain the upper trapezius muscle” (Ruiz-Sáez, Fenández-de-las-Peñas, Blanco, Martínez-Segura, & García-Léon, 2007, p. 578). What this means is that stimulation and/or correction of the nervous system in the neck can effect the shoulders! This is important because many of the things that we do on a daily basis increase the demand on the vertebral column found in the neck.  This in turn can create problems in the shoulders.   While helping to reduce symptoms is important, only doctors of chiropractic are specifically trained to look to the CAUSE of the problem, essentially to find the SOURCE of your pain.
More and more research is coming out on a daily basis that shows what chiropractic patients have known for years; CHIROPRACTIC WORKS.  If you are suffering from pain in the shoulders, especially the type that increases throughout the day, speak with a doctor of chiropractic today. According to this research article, you will be happy you did!


1.  Ruiz-S
áez, M., Fenández-de-las-Peñas, C., Blanco, C. R., Martínez-Segura, R., & García-Léon, R. (2007). Changes in pressure pain sensitivity in latent myofascial trigger points in the upper trapezius muscle after a cervical spine manipulation in pain-free subjects. Journal of  Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 30(8), 578-583.

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Published in Neck Problems

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