What is Frozen Shoulder?

Chiropractic in Rochester, Minnesota

What is Frozen Shoulder?

If you’ve encountered a significant shoulder injury like a rotator cuff tear, you may have been cautioned about the possibility of developing adhesive capsulitis, commonly referred to as “frozen shoulder”.

This condition, aptly named “frozen shoulder”, is characterized by stiffness and pain, leading to significant restrictions in shoulder mobility.

What Is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder entails a notable limitation in shoulder mobility accompanied by pain, typically evolving gradually and persisting for 1-2 years. It often emerges during extended periods of immobilization, such as post-fracture or post-surgery recovery phases.

The shoulder joint is enveloped by connective tissue, which ordinarily stabilizes the shoulder’s ball-and-socket joint and provides structural support. However, in cases of frozen shoulder, this connective tissue becomes inflamed and immobilized, resulting in stiffness and discomfort.

Who Is Affected by Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder impacts up to 3% of the US population and stands as a primary cause of shoulder immobility and pain in individuals over 40. Risk factors for its development include:

  • Non-dominant hand/arm usage.
  • Rotator cuff issues.
  • Glenohumeral fractures.
  • Systemic conditions like diabetes mellitus, thyroid dysfunction, cardiovascular ailments, and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Women peri or post menopause.

What Causes Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder can stem from two primary causes, yet its exact etiology remains largely elusive.

  • Primary adhesive capsulitis manifests gradually without a specific trigger, while secondary adhesive capsulitis is linked to systemic health issues such as diabetes, hormonal imbalances, rotator cuff injuries, and other shoulder-related traumas.

What Are the Symptoms?

Adhesive capsulitis primarily manifests through restricted movement and pain, typically progressing through three stages:

  1. Freezing stage: Characterized by diminishing shoulder range of motion and increasing pain during general movements, lasting 1-9 months.
  2. Frozen stage: In this phase, shoulder movements become even stiffer, although pain may diminish slightly. Functional tasks like reaching overhead become significantly challenging, spanning 4-12 months.
  3. Thawing stage: Movement and pain gradually improve, and previous functional limitations start to recede, spanning 5-24 months.

How Can Optimal Movement Help?

Adhesive capsulitis often arises during prolonged periods of immobility, such as recovery from shoulder injuries or surgeries. Regardless of the cause, prioritizing safe movement is crucial.

Maintaining healthy movement patterns, strength, and stability in the neck-back-shoulder complex is paramount. At Optimal Movement we use a combination of Stemwave, Chiropractic care, Acupuncture, and massage therapy combined with stretching and strengthening protocols to preserve optimal shoulder mobility and strength.

  • Myofascial techniques: Target muscle and fascial tension associated with frozen shoulder, aiding in movement and recovery.
  • Progressive manual therapy: Utilize joint mobilization, deep tissue massage, stretching, and muscle energy techniques.
  • Exercise: Focus on enhancing range of motion, scapular stability, and functional strength.

How Quickly Can I get Better?

Frozen shoulder may pose a lengthy journey for many, but with the appropriate treatment, you can regain optimal mobility very quickly. We have had many clients regain full function in as little 4-8 weeks with proper intervention and follow-through with treatment and exercise prescription.

Ready to embark on your journey to managing shoulder mobility? Optimal Movement is here to help you live your life without limits.

Contact Us:




Book Your Treatment Today! 

No Comments

Post A Comment