Frozen shoulder aka Adhesive Capsulitis affects nearly 3% of the adult population at one time or another.
Most cases occur in people between the ages of 50 and 70 and it affects more women than men.
It is a very, very painful condition that happens when part of the Glenoid Humeral joint capsule, a big ligament, becomes too small for the joint. This causes severe restriction of all shoulder movements, hence the term ‘frozen shoulder’.
The condition is believed to be caused by scar tissue that forms within the shoulder. If treatment is sought right away, the pain and stiffness can be mitigated and recovery time can be faster. The longer one waits to get treatment, the longer recovery takes.
Most cases of frozen shoulder follow a three- phase process. The first phase can last up to nine months and includes gradually increasing pain and stiffness. The second phase is marked by a reduction in pain but a decrease in movement possible. It can last between 4 and 12 months. The final phase is the healing phase in which the shoulder gradually repairs itself. It can take 1 to 3 years to complete.
But the good news is that conservative treatment in most cases will speed up the recovery.
Chiropractic treatment for a frozen shoulder involves mobilization of the shoulder joint itself, trigger point therapy, massage and stretching of the surrounding muscles, and the application of heat/ice.
The function of the neck, upper spine and rib cage will also be assessed and some home exercises will usually be prescribed.