Say Goodbye to Shoulder Pain With Chiropractic Care
A condition of the shoulder joint, adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder syndrome, affects up to 5% of the population at some point in their lifetime. While frozen shoulder is most commonly witnessed in people ages 40 to 65 years old, it’s unclear why some people develop it. Because of its natural chronicity, sufferers may face limited mobility for prolonged periods of time.
However, with effective treatment methods, like those provided by the Doctors of Irondequoit Chiropractic Center, people with frozen shoulder can take steps toward recovery. Chiropractic care is an excellent treatment option for conditions like frozen shoulder, because with the right treatment plan we can have you back doing the things you love to do. This means patients can look forward to positive outcomes in the immediate future and the long term as well.
The shoulder comprises three bones – the humerus, scapula and clavicle – that form a ball-and-socket joint where the upper arm, shoulder blade and collarbone meet. Surrounding the joint is connective tissue, called the shoulder capsule, which holds everything together. With adhesive capsulitis, the capsule becomes inflamed and stiff, restricting motion and causing chronic pain.
Frozen shoulder is classified into two types: primary and secondary. With primary adhesive capsulitis, the origin of the condition is unidentifiable. More common than primary, secondary frozen shoulder syndrome follows a period of restricted shoulder motion, such as that caused by trauma or surgery.
There are four stages of adhesive capsulitis. Considered the precursor phase, stage one is marked by sharp pain and inflammation. Stage two, the freezing phase, is characterized by gradual, progressive loss of shoulder range of motion and a heightened pain response. The second stage can last anywhere from a few weeks to months.
The frozen stage, phase three, consists of significant loss of range of motion and pain and can last for several months. This period of immobilization may lead to long-term detrimental consequences, including atrophy, degeneration and permanent restriction of movement. The fourth and final phase, the thawing stage, is associated with a progressive decrease of pain and stiffness. However, it can take up to nine months to regain a functional range of motion. Chiropractic care can facilitate this thawing process by returning your body to a state more conducive to healing.
Frozen shoulder presents differently in those with primary capsulitis and those with secondary capsulitis. A gradual onset of pain and stiffness that’s unfounded by medical history or clinical findings depicts primary frozen shoulder syndrome. Secondary adhesive capsulitis is distinguished by shoulder pain following an event, like a fall or surgery, or a concurrent medical condition, such as rotator cuff pathology.
The main symptoms of adhesive capsulitis include a dull or achy pain in one shoulder with a sharp intensification at the end-range motion, as well as stiffness that limits reaching overhead, behind the back or to the side. Many sufferers of frozen shoulder report increased pain at night, which disturbs their sleep, and difficulty performing everyday activities, such as grooming and dressing.
To diagnose adhesive capsulitis, a doctor will perform a physical exam. Though an examination of the shoulder is usually all it takes to diagnose frozen shoulder, the doctor may also order image tests, such as X-rays, ultrasounds or MRIs, to rule out other conditions.
Treatment for frozen shoulder syndrome consists of chiropractic care, neuromuscular massage therapy, strengthening exercises, and cold laser therapy to improve the patient’s range of motion. Joint mobilization, scapular mobilization, cervical and thoracic spinal manipulation are all useful strategies to treat shoulder pain and dysfunction. Other common techniques are heat, therapeutic ultrasound and electrical stimulation modalities and low-level laser therapy.
When frozen shoulder strikes, turn to the chiropractors and licensed massage therapists at Irondequoit Chiropractic Center to alleviate your shoulder pain and increase your range of motion. Contact the office at 585-467-7070 to book an appointment or to learn more about our services for adhesive capsulitis.