Shoulder pain is an issue that affects many Americans daily

The National Liberty of Medicine states, “Shoulder pain affects 18-26% of adults at any point in time.” Research also shows persistent shoulder pain can lead to impaired work performance, early retirement, work disability, or job loss. Instead of letting shoulder pain take control of your life, let’s discuss treatment approaches that allow shoulder pain to recover naturally and get you back to doing the activities you love.

At Mitchell Holistic Health, one of our core beliefs is that the body was made to heal itself when given the right support and treatment. We’ve personally seen this in our own lives and the lives of hundreds of patients. Our goal at Mitchell Holistic Health is to take a whole-person approach to common shoulder injuries that includes: proper movement, energy medicine, and nutritional/lifestyle change to bring about optimal recovery. Below, we want to discuss each type of approach we use and how it contributes to the healing process. 


Our Holistic Approach to Shoulder Pain

The first way we look to heal any shoulder injury is through movement. Movement is vital to our well-being, but when injured, it can be hard to know how to move safely without reinjuring ourselves. As a movement expert, Phillip develops individualized exercise programs and treatments to address the root cause of shoulder pain that consists of stretching, strengthening, postural assessment, dry needling, and corrective functional exercises to restore the normal function of the shoulder. In addition to addressing the specific injury or shoulder pain in this instance, at Mitchell Holistic Health, we look at how the body moves as a whole. For instance, many times we find that a lack of ankle and foot mobility can lead to issues in the shoulder and neck. Just like you wouldn’t build a house on a faulty foundation, you wouldn’t expect people to move well if their “foundation” isn’t solid. Through a whole-person movement assessment, we can address the areas of movement dysfunction, and in turn, get people moving optimally. Proper movement not only allows you to recover quicker, it prevents more unnecessary “wear and tear” on the body that leads to future injuries. 

Our Holistic Approach to Shoulder Pain

Energy Medicine

One thing that sets Mitchell Holistic Health apart from different physical therapy clinics in the area is the use of energy medicine to promote healing. We use two cutting-edge energy frequency treatments, a pulsed electromagnetic field, and frequency-specific microcurrent, as an integral part of the healing process. These treatments run low-level frequencies through the body to increase cellular energy and blood flow; and in turn, allow the body to heal itself quicker. I get this question a lot “Isn’t this the same as my TENS unit I use at home?”, and the short answer is no. TENS units are designed to help block the pain signal from getting to pain, but it doesn’t do much to address healing at the cellular level. With our FSM machines, we can run specific frequencies to the injured tissue, and by giving more specific treatment, we see much better outcomes. For example, I am currently finishing up treatment with a car mechanic with years of shoulder pain. He was just toughing out his shoulder pain each day thinking he would just have to live with the “worn out” shoulder the rest of his life until his partner finally made him come for a visit. He was like most people we see; he was hopeful for a better shoulder, but not optimistic in thinking we could change his years of shoulder pain. When he started he was struggling to perform any work overhead because of the pain, weakness, and limited motion in his right shoulder. After getting him on a good stretching and strengthening protocol and running FSM each visit, he now reports very little pain in the shoulder and excellent use of the shoulder when working on cars during the day. One of the highlights of my job is to watch skeptics turn into believers because of how successful the FSM treatment was for their shoulder pain. 


When healing our bodies, we believe that food is medicine and has the amazing ability to heal our bodies from the inside out. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the best diets, so they aren’t getting proper nutrition to support the body during the healing process. In addition to inadequate nutrition, we find that most people are living with chronic inflammation, and when not properly addressed, leads to all the “itis” injuries. In the shoulder, these injuries are rotator cuff tendinitis, bursitis, and inflammation of the nerves that pass through the shoulder. To address nutritional deficiencies and inflammation, we include supplements to help the body heal naturally. For eager patients who want more advice on their diet, we can have them set up an appointment with our functional medicine practitioners. We’ve found that people who work with physical therapy and functional medicine simultaneously see outstanding improvements because they’ve addressed the root causes of inflammation and movement dysfunction. 

As common sense as it sounds to treat the whole person, it is not the standard approach in the field of physical therapy. It wasn’t until Phillip and Claire went on their health journey that they discovered the power of nutrition and energy medicine and how it can transform the body. As a physical therapist who has become disillusioned with the standard approaches to healing (meds, injections, surgeries) from shoulder injuries, it renewed my passion for physical therapy to find these amazing holistic approaches that I could incorporate into my current practice and how they were changing the lives of my patients. Hopefully, as we continue to incorporate more holistic treatments at our clinic, I’ll have to write another blog to showcase all the awesome holistic treatments we’ve added to our clinic. Want more proof these approaches are changing lives? Check out our Google reviews to read all the stories of people with shoulder pain who’ve seen healing from their shoulder pain!

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