Adhesive capsulitis, more commonly known as frozen shoulder, is a malady most often characterized by initial pain in the join and decreased mobility. Frozen shoulder affects 2-3% of the population, commonly in the age range of 40-70 years old, and predominantly women.

The shoulder joint, also known as a ball and socket joint, provides a wide range of motion in our arms and hands. All the ligaments, tendons, and muscles that work together to provide the movement required can all be impeded by inflammatory diseases and misuse. Although much of what causes frozen shoulder perplex is still a mystery, onset begins with an initial pain. Following the pain is a reduction in mobility, but finally recovery.

Frozen shoulder develops gradually, often taking a year or two to set in. The disorder starts with a pain that worsens over time. Chemical changes take place in the shoulder joint, causing thick strands of tissue called adhesions to form, coinciding with the a thickening of the lubrication synovial capsule, the shoulder joint experiences a loss in both mobility and lubrication. By the time symptoms become obvious and problematic, the disorder has set in and treatment is required.

On a positive note, frozen shoulder is a very treatable disorder, even if the causes are varied. Through the correct manipulation and physiotherapy, our experienced and caring clinicians and staff can help you regain mobility and resolve the disorder. The sooner you contact our office, the sooner we can put you on the path to healing.

Causes of Frozen Shoulder

Some of the conditions that adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) can be attributed to range from anything as simple as lack of use or a misuse and injury to surgery or mastectomy on the shoulder, arm or upper torso to a myocardial infarction.  Surgery or injury can result in having an arm restricted or in a sling for long periods of time. This disuse causes the shoulder joint to tighten and mobility to decrease. Joint pain can be the result of an autoimmune response that stiffens and restricts the joint. What seems like a small pain, when not addressed, can cause the disorder to progress in an inflammatory way, creating adhesions and causing further restriction and pain.

Frozen Shoulder Due to Systemic Disorders

Patients, who suffer from systemic diseases such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, tuberculosis, and Parkinson’s disease, may be more likely to develop frozen shoulder. It is important to diagnose frozen shoulder early on in people with these systemic diseases, as more intensive treatments are often not an option for them. Our chiropractic staff is trained to use their expertise to help diagnose and treat frozen shoulder and help you end the pain, regain your range of motion, and return you to a normal routine.

Frozen Shoulder in Surgical Patients

Oftentimes, patients may experience frozen shoulder if they have recently had shoulder surgery (like rotator cuff or labrum repair) or a recent mastectomy or cardiovascular surgery.  These surgeries often involve the shoulder to be immobilized for a prolonged period of time. Through lack of use, the joint can stiffen and pain sets in.

Physiotherapy and chiropractic manipulation are highly recommended for post-op patients once they are sufficiently healed. Our office is committed to developing a program, that, when implemented, will increase your range of motion and reduce pain over a healthy period of time so you can resume a normal schedule.

Chiropractic Treatment of Frozen Shoulder

Chiropractic therapy is a great treatment option for resolving your frozen shoulder and all of the symptoms that come with it. Our staff will develop a custom tailored plan based on your pain level and baseline range of motion. Our two prong solution of in-office physiotherapy and at-home exercises will target and increase your range of motion as well as keep important muscles in the shoulder from atrophying by building them up instead. Along with treatment for inflammation in the joint space, patients will see a marked improvement in and eventual resolution of their disorder.

Recovering from frozen shoulder takes a lot of hard work and commitment, both from our staff and from you. As long as you are committed to stretching in the office and doing your exercises at home, you can trust that our staff will have you well along on your path to recovery.