What is frozen shoulder and why does it happen?
Adhesive Capsulitis, otherwise known as Frozen Shoulder, can develop in a few different ways. The most common factor is a prolonged period of shoulder immobilization. This can be due to a shoulder injury or after shoulder surgery. Other precursors for developing adhesive capsulitis are having an underlying autoimmune disease, diabetes, or chronic neck issues. This injury is most common in ages 40-60 years old and is more prevalent in females.
Frozen shoulder starts as a build-up of fibrous adhesions around the shoulder joint capsule, which narrows the joint cavity space. These fibrous adhesions can also form on the rotator cuff muscles. This condition has a sudden onset and is non-traumatic. The shrinking of the joint cavity limits the range of motion your shoulder has. The fibrous adhesions in the rotator cuff muscles will decrease their ability to stretch and contract, therefore making the shoulder “frozen”.
Adhesive capsulitis has three phases. The freezing phase mimics a rotator cuff or impingement injury. The frozen phase, in which the shoulder is very acute, extremely painful, and very limited in range of motion. Lastly is the thawing phase. This is when your shoulder gradually returns to function.
How can sports chiropractic help this injury?
Sports chiropractors can correctly diagnose this injury and help determine what the cause is. As sports chiropractors, we have multiple tools to help treat this injury. Joint manipulation and mobilization will help restore the range of motion within the shoulder and the surrounding joints that might be affected. Soft tissue manipulation is another tool that will help restore the range of motion and decrease pain within the soft tissues around the shoulder. At Chiros in Motion, we have many soft tissue techniques that would help with this condition. Along with the two treatment methods above, sports chiropractors will also teach you exercises and stretches that will help you gain more range of motion, gain stability, and decrease pain.