Shoulder Injuries Need an MD

The reason why shoulder injuries need an MD is that you can develop a frozen shoulder in as little as 3 weeks. When you do not move your shoulder the ligaments tighten quickly. But it takes months of physical therapy to get your normal range of motion back. Since a chiropractor cannot diagnose a shoulder, usually they just ignore it. They focus on the things they can treat, namely, spine. If you do not move your shoulder, often it stops hurting, but you are left with a frozen shoulder.

Shoulder Anatomy

Your shoulder has three bones. Your clavicle, scapula, and humerous are held together by ligaments and muscles. Each of the bones has a small gliding surface covered with cartilage.

You can break these bones, tear ligaments , or damage the cartilage lining.

Each of these your body can heal to a degree, but you often need help. The first step after a car accident would be going to an MD to examine your shoulder. If you cannot move your shoulder an MRI will show if you have broken or torn something.

Here is a partial list of the things you can have happen:

  • Acromioclavicular joint separation
  • Bursitis
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Labral tears
  • Impingement
  • Separations
  • Shoulder instability
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Tendinitis
  • Torn rotator cuff

These can be treated by orthopedic surgeons.

Physical Therapy First

While shoulder injuries need an MD to diagnose, most treatment involves physical therapy. Only a physician can treat your shoulder with injections and surgery. If you want to try something less invasive you will move into the massage and physical therapy arena. We have found that most injuries in our outpatient settings do not require injections or surgeries.  However we have many fine orthopedic surgeons who will help you understand why you do or do not need surgery available.