Dr. Jeremiah Jimerson

761 Saint Andrews Blvd Charleston, SC 29407

How to Fix Shoulder Pain

How to Fix Your Shoulder Pain Permanently

Do you have a sharp pain in your shoulder when you lift your arm over your head? Constant dull and achy pain in your shoulder and mid-back? Decreased strength and endurance in your shoulder?

Shoulder pain can put a damper on anyone’s day. Patients often come in and tell me that they can’t take things out of the fridge without pain. Sometimes mundane activities like washing in the shower or putting on deodordant or fastening your seatbelt become a challenge.

Sometimes the pain has slowly developed over time or happened quickly out of nowhere.

What causes it? Typically it’s overuse of your rotator cuff muscles. But why do they become overused?

As complex as the shoulder is; it’s not really just the ball and cup joint that you typically think about. The shoulder is a complex of 4 joints that balance each other. Both the treatment and the cause of shoulder pain is easier than you think.

If you’re nervous about a tear in your rotator cuff, sometimes it is a tear! Studies suggest that roughly 60-70% of the population is walking around with rotator cuff tears and have zero clue that it’s even there. Many times they are walking around without any pain whatsoever. 

After treating and resolving thousands of shoulder pain cases between my Charleston and Summerville offices over the past 20 years, the most important thing that you need to address when fixing shoulder pain is the “why” or the root cause of why the shoulder is actually injured in the first place. 

One of my favorite rotator cuff cases came when Andre Bauer, the former Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina came to me with excruciating shoulder pain. He had told me he had been to 3 local Charleston Orthopedic Surgeons and they all told him that he needed to have shoulder surgery. 

He couldn’t give me more details, didn’t have his shoulder MRI with him and was incredible desperate for me to help. All he knew was that he couldn’t brush his teeth, wash his hair or put on deodorant. Little things can add up to quality of life…

After two weeks of treatment and his shoulder going from a 11/10 down to a 3/10… Andre showed up to his appointment with a copy of his MRI and it revealed my worst fear.

The MRI report stated that Andre had suffered a FULL tear of his supraspinatus muscle, which is one of the top rotator cuff muscles. 

“Andre,” I exclaimed, “You gotta go back to the surgeon and get them to reattach this thing.” 

He politely told me in so many words that it wasn’t going to happen. He was down to a 3/10 in terms of his pain and starting to do pushups and pull-ups again. 

In a last ditch effort, I convinced him to go to one of my favorite Charleston Orthopedic Surgeons who likes to play with Stem Cells and often looks at cases in an outside of the box fashion like I do. “Maybe he has another solution.”

Andre went to the other Orthopedic who offered to do a microsurgery and put a stem cell bridge where the muscle used to be. The catch was, that he would have to be put in a sling for 6-8 weeks after the procedure. 

Andre declined shoulder surgery for a fourth time because he noticed that he was getting stronger by the day. In a few more weeks, he proceeded to discharge himself, stating that he felt as loose and as strong as he did before the injury. 

Andre Bauer discusses his pain free path for his full rotator cuff tear WITHOUT surgery after 4 Charleston Orthopedists recommended surgery.

Did I give him a new shoulder? Did I repair his rotator cuff? 

Nope. I focused on treating why his shoulder tore in the first place. 

As modern human beings we spend a lot of time hunched over computers, cell phones, car steering wheels, books… you get the point. We spend long periods of time, cumulatively, hunched over and that not only compresses your shoulder joints, leaving them prime for injury, but also makes your shoulder blade muscles weak. This Causes the rotator cuff muscles to jump in and work harder than normal. Like anyone else, if your boss makes you do too much overtime, eventually you’re going to get a little cranky.

Overworked muscles develop scar tissue over time. As a muscle is constantly in tension, not only does it starve itself (limiting the amount of oxygen and nutrients that can be delivered), but it becomes unable to get rid of waste products. Scar tissue doesn’t stretch like healthy muscles stretch. It becomes firm and stiff. 

One of the MO’s of scar tissue is that if scar tissue is tight and doesn’t stretch. It cools at rest periods like sitting for a while, driving, sleeping… and the tight muscles, the tight scar tissue cools and gets 10 times tighter. So often people will notice that their symptoms are worse at rest. 

Poor joint mechanics in your hip, back and neck can also affect your shoulders. When we walk, swing bats or clubs or throw something, your hip connects to your opposite shoulder.

So how do we fix this?

It’s important to do a full exam of your joints, muscles, nerves and lymphatic system to determine why your shoulder pain even started. 

I’ve seen it all. Sometimes neck issues are masquerading as shoulder pain or dysfunction. Sometimes it’s a nerve getting caught in the upper trapezius muscle. Sometimes the muscles deep up in the armpit on a muscle commonly referred to as the “miracle muscle of the shoulder” by therapists. We even had a wild case sent over from Head Coaches for track at the College of Charleston in which the athletes right sided shoulder pain was due to her hip issues on her opposite side (remember, when we walk, run and throw things our body moves from the hip to the opposite shoulder.

Once we know why, we will use different scar tissue release methods like Active Release Technique, Functional Range Conditioning, Graston and Gua Sha, Vibration Therapy and more combined with rehab exercises to get you out of pain in the shortest time possible and keep you that way.

Dr. Jeremiah Jimerson, D.C.Founder of Elite Performance & Pain 

Chiropractic Innovator 

Myofascial and Neurological Specialist

Pioneering a holistic approach to chiropractic care, I focus on uncovering the root causes of discomfort, blending myofascial techniques like Active Release Therapy with neurological insights. My practice extends beyond traditional adjustments, delving into the complex interplay of muscles, nerves, movement and overall wellness.

Notable achievements: Hospital Residency Pioneer, Collaborator with Orthopedic Surgeons, Active Release Technique Certified since 2004, Experience with the Buffalo Bills, Ironman Triathlon, College of Charleston Track Team, and high-profile clients.

Passionate about personal health, anti-aging, and longevity. Devoted to activities like weightlifting, calisthenics, jiu-jitsu, movement, and outdoor adventures.

Serving chronic pain patients and athletes who seek innovative, effective solutions.

Connect with me:                  www.fixyourpaincharleston.com 

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