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Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research

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Upper Cervical Care of Patients with Chronic Shoulder Pain and Restriction in Motion: A Case Series

Joey Alcantara, DC, Joel Alcantara, DC Bio, Junjoe Alcantara, DC 


Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research ~ July 31, 2014 ~ Pages 47-53



Objective: To describe the chiropractic care of two patients with shoulder pain and dysfunction.


Clinical Features: Two males presented for chiropractic care with complaints of shoulder pain and dysfunction. A 55-year-old male 7 months prior fell from a 10-foot ladder, landing on his left shoulder. A few days later, the patient developed right-sided shoulder pain with ipsilateral restriction in range of motion (ROM) that progressively became worse with time. Previous care involved over-the-counter medication that provided only short-term relief. The second patient was a 60-year-old male presenting with bilateral shoulder pain and restricted ROM of one year duration. The patient denied macro-trauma as a cause and suspected overuse due to his job as a professional chef. History and physical examination findings led to a working diagnosis of adhesive capsulitis in both patients.


Intervention and Outcome:  Chiropractic adjustments characterized as high velocity, low amplitude thrusts applied exclusively to the C0-C1 joint complex were rendered to both patients. Pre-care and comparative measures of shoulder ROM and pain rating demonstrated significant improvements in both patients.


Conclusion:  This case series provides support on the use of chiropractic adjustments directed to the upper cervical spine in patients with subluxation, shoulder pain and dysfunction. We support further research in the care of similar patients.


Key words:Frozen shoulder, chiropractic adjustments, vertebral subluxation, upper cervical