Help for Your Weekend Warrior Patients with Shoulder Pain

If you specialize in treating patients with nerve damage, you’re probably used to seeing patients with

Don't Forget The Cervical Spine and Shoulder Pain

Diabetes
Lupus
Cancer
HIV/AIDS
Any of those illnesses can cause nerve damage and peripheral neuropathy.
But another less chronic patient population you can serve are the weekend warriors…
Those sports enthusiasts who live to play baseball, football, volleyball or even for kayaking.
This patient population is more prone to shoulder injury and the resultant shoulder pain caused by suprascapular neuropathy than the average person.
Patients with suprascapular neuropathy can be especially challenging because
They often wait to come in for treatment until they have a serious problem; and
Part of their treatment will need to be rest and not participating in their favorite pastime
In order to give you a better chance for having a compliant patient, they need understand exactly what they’re dealing with.
They need to understand that they can’t just muscle through the pain and “work it out.”

What is Suprascapular Neuropathy?  Suprascapular neuropathy is nerve damage to the suprascapular nerve – the nerve that runs from the brachial plexus (a group of nerves in the neck and shoulders) to nerves that help the body fully rotate the arms. Suprascapular neuropathy is a common cause of shoulder pain and weakness and can lead to career ending nerve damage for professional athletes or stop weekend warriors from doing what they love. 
Exactly What Causes Suprascapular Neuropathy?
 
As the suprascapular nerve passes over the shoulder blade, it can be compressed and stretched. When that happens repeatedly over a period of time, the nerve can become damaged and neuropathy develops. The first symptoms are usually pain and weakness when they try to rotate the shoulder.

If you experience any of these issues, contact your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician immediately to determine if you have nerve damage. You’ll need to start treatment immediately in order to prevent permanent damage.

Devising a Treatment Plan
The treatment for suprascapular neuropathy depends on

What caused the suprascapular neuropathy
How severe the patient’s symptoms are
How long the patient has had symptoms
The result the patient wants to achieve
Your first step will be to limit the patient’s activities. Once they’ve rested the shoulder, you can start them on an exercise program designed to increase their ability to use their shoulder, regain some flexibility in the joint and strengthen the rotator cuff. Once you’ve achieved a degree of relief for your patient, you can modify the exercise program to fit their sport of choice.
The ultimate goal should be to regain their range of motion in the shoulder and strengthen the muscles in order to prevent future nerve damage.
The end game in treating patients with suprascapular neuropathy caused by sports injury should be to repair the damage they’ve already done and prevent them from doing damage in the future. That will require a little more in-depth involvement on your part.
You need to analyze your patient’s technique to see if they are using proper form and see if any changes need to be made to prevent recurrent injury.
The NeuropathyDR® protocol is ideally suited to treating patients with sports related suprascapular neuropathy. Early intervention with a physician well versed in suprascapular neuropathy, like a NeuropathyDR® clinician, is their best course of action.
When you’re trained and ready to work with them, let them know you’re there.
For more tips on growing a successful chiropractic, physical therapy or pain management practice, log on to http://perfectpractice web.com to download a FREE E-Book Copy of my 5 star Amazon “Living and Practicing by Design” at http://perfectpracticeweb.com.
1 http:// www.webmd.com/a-to-z guides/shoulder-problems-and-injuries-topic-overview
2 http://www.shoulderinstitute.co.za/publications/suprascapular-nerve-problems.pdf

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.