SHOULDER AND CHEST PAIN
The Upper Back Could Be the Problem
Pain in the back of the shoulder radiating around to the chest can be a worrisome problem. The first concern that most individuals have with this type of pain is that there may be a heart problem present. In the majority with this type of pain, however, a visit to the emergency room or to a family doctor will produce a diagnosis of “musculoskeletal pain”. Although this relieves the anxiety concerning heart disease, these individuals are given little help in resolving this pain.
Once it has been established the heart disease is not present, the diagnosis of musculoskeletal pain should lead to appropriate treatment. Chiropractic manipulation is proving to be the most effective treatment for this common complaint. In 71 patients at St. Georges Hospital in London, manipulation was tested in the treatment of shoulder and chest pain. All patients had originally been seen for suspected heart disease but proved to have pain originating from the spine. Manipulation completely relieved the pain in 78% of the patients and at least partially helped another 16%. In total, 94% were helped with this treatment.
These researchers explained this type of pain as originating from irritation of the nerves in the mid and upper spine that also supply the back of the shoulder and the chest wall. They also stated that this type of pain is the third most common cause of chest pain in those seen at coronary care units behind only heart attacks and angina.
Many individuals with pain in the back of the shoulder radiating to the chest will prove to have a spinal joint problem rather than a heart problem. Chiropractic manipulation has proven to be effective for this condition and should be the first choice in treatment.