Over the last 20 years, shoulder complaints have become much more common in the general American population. Primary care physicians, physical therapists and chiropractors commonly see many individuals with a variety of shoulder conditions.
One of the common conditions that many clients present with is known as “Frozen Shoulder.” Frozen shoulder is a generic term that is used to refer to a condition known as adhesive capsulitis. People with this condition typically complain of decreased range of motion in the shoulder with pain and stiffness. Other cases may have numbness or tingling in the upper arm as well.
I believe this condition has become more common in society due to the proliferation of desk jobs which place individuals in poor ergonomic positions. Simply having a mouse or keyboard in the wrong position over time can create a shoulder issue.
The shoulder is a very complex joint. Frozen shoulder occurs when the joint does not move appropriately. Movement is compromised because adhesions build in the joint. Adhesions are areas of inflammation and muscle tension that cause improper joint movement.
The most common cause of frozen shoulder syndrome and adhesions is lack of movement. When I evaluate a client with a frozen shoulder, I commonly see the shoulder blade (known as the scapula) moving poorly or not moving at all. The scapula does not function properly because it has misaligned. The scapula is supposed to move in a circular pattern, like what you would see if someone was waxing a car in a circular motion. When the bone shifts out of place, the movement pattern will change. Over time movement will become reduced or fixed. This is the point in which individuals will start to feel symptoms such as stiffness, pain or reduced range of motion.
At Precision Chiropractic & Massage Center we can correct a Frozen Shoulder over time. I take a three-fold approach to treating this condition.
- First, I complete precise low force adjustments to the spine and shoulder to correct bones that have misaligned
- Our massage therapists work on muscle tension that persists in areas around the shoulder. Most frozen shoulder cases present with severe muscle tension. This occurs from years of the joint not working property. In addition to putting the structure of the shoulder back in place, our therapists will reduce the muscle to ensure that the shoulder functions properly going forward.
- Lastly, I prescribe exercises for the client to complete outside of our office. The exercises encourage strengthening of muscles that have become week and encourage movement in the entire joint. These exercises are critical to prevent the frozen shoulder from recurring.
Using the approach described above, we are highly effective in our treatment of this condition. If you are experiencing any shoulder complaint, give our office a call to schedule a complimentary consultation.