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Shoulder Pain

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint with a large range of movement. Such a mobile joint tends to be more susceptible to injury.

Shoulder pain can be one or more of the following causes: (from webmd see website for detail)

  • Strains from overexertion

  • Tendonitis from overuse

  • Shoulder joint instability

  • Dislocation

  • Collar or upper arm bone fractures

  • Frozen shoulder

  • Pinched nerves (also called radiculopathy)

How Acupuncture help relief shoulder pain:

Shoulder Pain: The Supraspinatous Muscle


.....Supraspinatous dysfunction with its resulting pain syndrome is due to various pathologies within the muscle-tendon unit. Lets look at each separately:

The belly of the muscle: The origin and the belly of the supraspinatous are in the suprascapular fossa, in the region of the acupuncture point SI 12. This is the site of the trigger point as well as the motor point.3 In the myofascial explanation of pain, Dr. Travell describes active trigger points in the belly of the muscle at SI 12, contributing to the predictable referred pain pattern in the deltoid region. Palpation of the suprascapular fossa may reproduce pain and reveal taut fascial bands of the muscle. This zone can extend medially to SI 13, as well as 1 to 3 cm lateral to the text location of SI 12.

The sub-acromial portion of the tendon: The muscle-tendon junction is at the lateral aspect of the suprascapular fossa, in the region of the point LI 16. The supraspinatous tendon must pass under the acromion, and this narrow fossa is not particularly forgiving. Many patients with tendonitis in this part of the muscle experience what is termed "impingement syndrome." With those overhead arm movements and other positions of abduction, the swollen tendon gets impinged under the bony acromion, causing the paroxysms of sudden sharp pain. It should be noted that the pain from impingement is difficult to locate with palpation, as it is deep to the bone between LI 16 and LI 15.....

How Can Stress Cause Shoulder Tension? A Chinese Medicine Perspective


.........Shoulder Pain Is a Disorder of the Tendons and Sinews

Most of the shoulder pain and stiffness seen in a clinic is the result of disordered tension in the muscles and tendons that cross the shoulder joint. Not many shoulder pain patients truly have problems with the bones in their shoulder joint, or have actual cervical protrusions. Because liver rules the tendons and sinews in TCM, it's easy to relate shoulder pain to the liver in this first step.

The Secret of GV 20

GV 20 is a meeting point of the Liver, Bladder, Gallbladder, San Jiao and Governing channels. Four of these channels (all except the Liver) pass through the neck and shoulder area. Thus, liver qi stagnation can be transmitted to these other channels - and the shoulder region - via their influence at GV 20.

Stress Is a Disorder of the Liver

When people are under stress or are anxious, the liver is the organ most immediately influenced. In zang fu theory, the liver is the "general." As general, the liver likes to accomplish all things quickly and completely, without questions, problems or disagreement. Liver also is the zang that performs fu functions; it uses the yin (i.e., blood) to perform the yang function of spreading the qi. Thus, anything "unhappy" will frustrate the general and his spreading function, leading to liver qi stagnation. Furthermore, once liver qi has encountered emotional resistance and begins to stagnate, the qi will tend to rise toward the head. It is as a result of this process that many people will have headaches, a red face or a "big head." Second, because of the liver's influence via GV 20, stagnated qi often is just as likely to enter any of those channels that pass through the posterior neck and shoulder (UB, GB, SJ, GV).......


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