If the tendon connecting your shoulder muscles to the bone becomes inflamed or irritated, you're probably suffering from tendinitis. Calcium deposited into the tendon may increase the pain and restrict your shoulder movement and flexibility.
The potential side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)are well-documented, making this study on a nondrug alternative -- ultrasound -- that much more interesting. Fifty-four patients (61 total shoulders) received either ultrasound therapy or a "sham" treatment (in which the ultrasound machine was not turned on) for six weeks.
After the treatment period, calcium deposits had disappeared in six shoulders. The sham group showed no resolution of calcium deposits, and 50% improvement in only three shoulders. These differences were even greater at a follow-up visit nine months later.
If you're experiencing shoulder pain or tenderness, schedule a consultation and a thorough examination with your chiropractor. If tendinitis is the culprit, ultrasound might be the solution.
Ebenbichler G, Erdogmus CB, Resch KL, et al. Ultrasound therapy for calcific tendinitis of the shoulder. The New England Journal of Medicine, May 20,1999: Vol. 340, No. 20, pp1533-1538.