Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, involves stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint that can continue for up to two to three years. The condition is usually caused by conditions or lifestyle choices that keep the shoulder still for long periods.
For example, long periods spent working on the computer can create repetitive stress on the shoulder. A frozen shoulder may also occur during recovery after surgery or an arm fracture.
Symptoms of a Frozen Shoulder
The most commonly seen symptom of a frozen shoulder is a dull pain in one or both of your shoulders. You may feel a stiffness in the shoulder that makes it difficult to move your arm.
You may experience symptoms in three stages.
Freezing stage - This is when you experience pain while trying to move your shoulder, and it is likely to hurt more at night. This stage may last for 6-9 months.
Thawing stage - This is when you experience less pain, but more stiffness in the shoulder, and moving your shoulder becomes increasingly difficult. This stage may last for 4-12 months.
Thawing stage - This is when your range of motion improves and begins to feel normal. The stiffness lowers and gradually fades. This stage may sometimes last up to 2 years.
Causes of a Frozen Shoulder
Your shoulder comprises three bones and the shoulder capsule tissue that covers the shoulder joint. The three bones that form the shoulder joint are the scapula (shoulder blade), clavicle (collarbone), and humerus (upper arm bone).
When a frozen shoulder occurs, the shoulder capsule tissue becomes excessively tight and stiff, restricting movement.
Although no clear cause for a frozen shoulder has been identified yet, any factors that cause your shoulder to remain immobile for long periods can contribute to a frozen shoulder. This includes factors such as fractures or arm surgeries that require your shoulder to remain unmoving during recovery.
Frozen shoulders tend to be more common among women than men. It is most often seen in the 40-60 age group.
Chiropractic Treatment for a Frozen Shoulder
Traditional medication tends to focus on reducing pain and inflammation resulting from a frozen shoulder. Once the inflammation is reduced, the joint’s range of motion may be preserved. However, chiropractic care offers natural ways to heal this condition.
Dr. Desai considers the root of the problem while treating frozen shoulder conditions. In her experience, a frozen shoulder develops as a compensatory issue. Patients with a curve in their spine often complain of a frozen shoulder.
In such cases, realigning the spine helps recover the shoulder girdle, which is attached via muscles and tendons to the neck, thoracic spine, and rib cage. However, realigning the spine alone is not enough,
As a first step, imaging tests, such as an X-ray, are used to confirm the diagnosis of the frozen shoulder. Soft tissue imaging, such as CT scans or MRIs, can also be used. Dr. Desai then helps realign your shoulder complex.
Alignment is usually done at the glenohumeral joint, and the angle of the scapula is shifted. Finally, the acromioclavicular joint and the clavicle at the sternum are also realigned.
Other Forms of Treatment
Muscle adhesions are muscle fibers and tissues that are “glued” together in stiff, unnatural positions. This generally occurs at the rebuilding stage after an injury and can reduce joint mobility, causing a frozen shoulder.
Chiropractic care and therapeutic massages work to break the stiff muscle adhesions. Several massage techniques can help break these adhesions.
A good massage therapist can also work on breaking adhesions at the scapula and rib sites. At Lotus Chiropractic Care, we can put you in touch with good massage therapists to help with your condition.
We can also provide you with targeted exercises that you can do at home in order to increase movement and flexibility in your shoulder. This will help you improve joint mobility.
Get Chiropractic Treatment for Frozen Shoulder
Dr. Tanvi Desai is a chiropractic expert with extensive training and experience in caring for patients' spinal misalignments. She offers patients treatment options for gentle adjustments.
Lotus Chiropractic Care can help improve posture, reduce pain, and improve the body's overall function. If you suffer from a frozen shoulder, Dr. Desai can help get your body back to a pain-free life.
We service residents of Dunwoody and surrounding areas from our office on Mt. Vernon Rd, Dunwoody, Georgia.
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