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  • Writer's pictureTanvi Desai

Chiropractic for frozen shoulder

Updated: Jul 27, 2022

In this age of static desk jobs, I’ve seen countless people suffering discomfort in their bodies. One of the most common cases has been shoulder pain. I’m seeing more adults with this condition in the clinic, due to the repetitive stress given on the shoulder while typing at a desk. A big reason is that your shoulder is kept immobile for long periods while moving your fingertips on the keyboard.

This discomfort can lead to several issues. A common one is Adhesive Capsulitis, or what we call frozen shoulder. Generally, it causes stiffness and pain in your shoulder joints. The worst part is that it can take up to 2-3 years to go away.

What causes a Frozen shoulder?

I’ll keep it simple– Your shoulder is made up of three bones. And there’s a tissue named the shoulder capsule covering the joint of these three bones. In the case of a frozen shoulder, this tissue becomes too tight and hard to allow movement.

The clear cause of a frozen shoulder is unknown. But many factors could lead to this issue. It includes the situations that cause you to keep your shoulder immobilized for a long period. For instance, fractures or arm surgeries might lead to a frozen shoulder. Injuries or other conditions may also cause this issue.

Frozen shoulders are more common among women than men. Also, the age of 40-60 is considered the most “vulnerable” period for this condition.

Symptoms of a frozen shoulder

The main symptom of a frozen shoulder is a dull pain in one or both of your shoulders. You’ll feel a stiffness that makes it difficult to move your arm.

Generally, these symptoms are experienced in three stages-

Freezing stage

You might experience pain while trying to move your shoulder.

It could hurt more at night

It might last up to 6-9 months

- Thawing stagege

You experience less pain but more stiffness

Moving your shoulder becomes increasingly difficult

It can last up to 4-12 months

- Thawing stage

Your range of motion begins to feel normal

The stiffness lowers, gradually

This might even take up to 2 years

Treatment for a frozen shoulder

Most medications for a frozen shoulder focus on reducing pain. By minimizing inflammation, the joint’s range of motion can be preserved. But in my experience at the clinic, there are natural ways to heal this condition.

It is important to realize that a frozen shoulder is a compensatory issue. We typically see patients have curves in the spine, such as scoliosis in the thoracic region– but also a shift in the neck and a reversal of it. It is vital to realign the spine so that the shoulder girdle attached via muscles and tendons to the neck, thoracic spine, and rib cage may recover. So, the takeaway here is that you have to find the root of the problem. Re-aligning the shoulder itself will not resolve the issue.

Aligning the shoulder complex

At Lotus, we can determine if it is a true frozen shoulder by taking X-rays and eliminating any other possibilities. Soft tissue scans like CT or MRI scans are the best determinants for it.

Top chiropractors can help realign your shoulder complex. Alignment is usually done at the glenohumeral joint. The scapula angle is shifted and adhered. Finally, the acromioclavicular joint and the clavicle at sternum are also realigned.

We’ve seen great results after placing the bones back in alignment at the shoulder joint. However, doing so is secondary in the entire treatment.

Here Are 3 Treatment Methods Necessary to Heal A Frozen Shoulder

Breaking adhesions

Muscle adhesions are muscle fibers and tissues “glued” together in stiff, unnatural positions. This generally occurs at the rebuilding stage after an injury. It can reduce the mobility of your joints and it is a big factor behind a frozen shoulder.

Chiropractic care along with therapeutic massages is key in breaking adhesions. There are several techniques that will help break these adhesions. A good massage therapist can also work on breaking adhesions at the scapula and rib site. You may contact Lotus Chiropractic Care to get in touch with a good massage therapist to help with your condition.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy can also be key in the recovery from a frozen shoulder. Its goal is to restore your body’s movements. Your range of motion will be gradually increased and maintained to help reduce pain.

Once the spine and shoulder complex are in alignment and the adhesions of those areas are broken, movement and healing of those muscles, tendons, and ligaments are crucial for recovery. At Lotus Chiropractic Care, we can provide you with a great PT referral. You’ll get an individualized exercise program that fits your needs.

We Can help you at Lotus Chiropractic Care

People often leave their frozen shoulders undiagnosed. They live uncomfortably and in pain. We do not want that for you. Please don’t believe that nothing can be done to heal a frozen shoulder besides resting.

At Lotus Chiropractic Care in Dunwoody, we will guide you safely through the healing process. We will take the necessary steps for restoring mobility to your joints. Because enhancing the quality of your life remains the goal here.

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