The shoulder joint is very mobile. The hip joint is a bowl and socket joint where the ball is very round and sits in the spheric structure of the hip creating good stability. The shoulder is more like a ball sitting on a saucer. This allows for 360-degree rotation of your arm. Having the potential for unlimited movement in the shoulder also means that the shoulder is potentially less stable. The arm should be able to move freely up and down the saucer. If any of the muscles surrounding the joint get tight, this will inhibit the free movement of the arm, leading to limited movement and then pain in those areas that are stuck. This pain will further create a limitation of movement. It also means that you’ll be moving your arm in a funny way, making it more prone to injury.
Shoulder pain remains one of the most prevalent chief complaints within the general population that leads to doctor visits, being second only to lower back pain.
In acupuncture when we do an assessment of the shoulder, we are particularly concerned with which movements aggravate the pain in the shoulder.
Sometimes the tissue damage or injury or “stuckness” may be located in a slightly different area to where you’re actually feeling the pain.
In an acupuncture treatment, we begin by working with the muscles and fascia that are located in the deeper layers of the body, giving warmth with moxibustion, and using specific needling techniques that allow the fascia to open up and unstick. This allows more blood flow to the area for tissue repair and clearing stagnant blood and fluids. We encourage this suppleness and then we work through the layers up to the most surface fascial areas.
By doing this we are encouraging free movement through the whole shoulder. By working layer by layer, we are locating where tissue has been stuck and impinged and we are encouraging blood flow and tissue repair to occur allowing both a reduction in pain and improvement in movement.
ACC will help cover the cost of Acupuncture therapy if your injury has resulted in Rotator Cuff Syndrome, Shoulder Tendonitis, Fracture of the Clavicle (closed non-displaced), Fracture of the Humerus (closed proximal), Dislocation/Subluxation of the Shoulder, Sprain of the Upper Arm/Shoulder, Sprain of the Acromio-Clavicular Ligament, Sprain of the Infraspinatus Tendon, Rotator Cuff Sprain, Sprain of the Shoulder Joint, Rupture of Supraspinatus of Biceps Tendon, Open Wound Shoulder/Upper Limb, Abrasion of the Upper Arm (no infection), Contusion of the Upper Limb, Contusion of the Upper Arm/Shoulder or Crush Injury of the Upper Arm.
Using Acupuncture alongside physical therapy like physiotherapy will ameliorate shoulder function and alleviate pain. Research shows that this reduction in pain shows a reduction in having to take pain medication as well.
 Maalouly et al., “Association of Acromial Morphological Parameters and Rotator Cuff Tears, and Evaluation of the Influence of Age and Gender on the Parameters and Impact on Cuff Tears: A Study on a Middle Eastern Population.” https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asmart.2020.02.002