What is Frozen Shoulder Syndrome?

23/02/2017

Frozen shoulder syndrome, otherwise known as adhesive capsulitis is a painful and debilitating condition of the shoulder where arm movement is extremely limited and generally develops when you stop using your shoulder properly. This may be as a result of pain, injury or a chronic health condition such as diabetes or a stroke which allows the shoulder capsule to thicken and tighten, restricting range of motion in the ligaments, tendons and muscles of the shoulder.

Frozen Shoulder often develops over a period of weeks to months and can take a year or more to return to normal.

The stages of Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

There are 3 stages of frozen shoulder syndrome:

  1. The freezing stage
  2. The frozen stage and
  3. The thawing stage.

During the Freezing stage shoulder pain develops without any obvious physical cause, this pain gradually gets worse over time creating a progressive limitation to the shoulders range of motion.

The Frozen stage is where the shoulder reaches its maximum restricted range of motion, the constant pain has usually subsided at this stage but attempting to move the shoulder past its restricted range can result in sharp pains, during the frozen stage individuals will struggle to move their hand behind their back or get it up to horizontal.

During the Thawing stage patients will gradually start to regain their normal range of motion and the pain will subside.

Chiropractic and Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

Shoulder problems almost always have spinal involvement. If a patient has shoulder problems there is almost always neck or upper back association. While a patient will benefit from shoulder treatment, to resolve the tissue injury, they also need to have proper spinal biomechanics restored.

When a patient is suffering with frozen shoulder, they tend to use their neck and back to fling their arm up to reach things. This compensation where the body tries to make up for the limited shoulder movement can lead to a range of issues in other areas of the body. Restoring proper spinal mechanics to the segments of the spine are critical to long term improvement of the shoulder problem.

If you or someone you know is suffering from frozen shoulder syndrome make sure to let you chiropractor or other physical therapist know. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call the office or click here to book an appointment.

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