How Chiropractic Care Helps “Thaw” Your Frozen Shoulder
Simple activities like fastening a bra or taking a book off an overhead shelf can be impossible when you have a frozen shoulder. But what is a frozen shoulder, exactly?
Frozen shoulder (also called adhesive capsulitis) is a common disorder that causes pain, stiffness, and loss of normal range of motion in the shoulder. It may happen after an injury or overuse, or from a disease such as diabetes or a stroke. You may have pain that keeps you from using your shoulder. It affects mainly people ages 40 to 60 — women more often than men.
Frozen Shoulder Symptoms
People who have frozen shoulder often go through three phases of symptoms:
- The first phase lasts two to nine months and involves diffuse, severe, and disabling shoulder pain that is worse at night. During this phase, the shoulder becomes increasingly stiff.
- The second (intermediate) phase lasts 4 to 12 months. During this phase, the shoulder becomes very stiff and has limited mobility, but the pain gradually lessens.
- The third (recovery) phase lasts 5 to 24 months. During this phase, people gradually regain range of motion.
If you have frozen shoulder, the pain and stiffness it causes may seriously interfere with your ability to do everyday tasks, such as dress and bathe, or even work. Even once the pain of frozen shoulder starts to improve, the shoulder stiffness may still be quite limiting. For example, the condition might impede you from reaching overhead, to the side, or across your chest; or from rotating your arm all the way around from front to back. This could make it impossible for you to scratch your back or put on a coat.
Can Chiropractic Help
When you can’t move your arms because of the pain associated with frozen shoulder, chiropractic has definitely been known to help. Although the care of each individual is tailored to the patient, there are some general guidelines.
First, chiropractic addresses the cervical and upper thoracic spine range of motion. The way in which one’s neck and upper back move directly affects the ability of the shoulder to properly function. In addition, the portion of the nervous system that communicates with the shoulder exits the lower part of the cervical spine. Increasing the spinal joint motion and improving the nervous system communication level can be enough to see the first steps in the healing process.
Second, the actual shoulder joint itself can be manipulated. There are different joints that can be restricted in range of motion that will affect the health of the shoulder. These include the gleno-humeral joint and the acromion-clavicular joint (shoulder and collar bone, respectively). The manipulation of the joint is intended to restore proper joint motion, position and ultimately function.
Third, there are simple exercises of range of motion that can be done at home with very little equipment to gently increase the shoulder range of motion. These include a wall crawl or flexion/extension full range of motion with a broomstick. There are stretches for surrounding musculature that your chiropractor can recommend in order to improve flexibility.
Lastly, there are supplement recommendations your chiropractor can make that will offer nutrient support for the health of the joints. One phenomenal joint supplement is called collagen protein. This comes from the bone marrow of chicken, beef and/or lamb and is extraordinary for joint health and support. It has enjoyed increased popularity, so even though you may have to look for it, you shouldn’t have to look too hard.
Frozen shoulder can really put your body on ice. It can be debilitating, but you don’t have to live with it. Chiropractic can help you recover from it much quicker and likely with less interference and pain involved. If you or someone you love is suffering from frozen shoulder, letting the doctors at The Kings Park Chiropractic help you is an idea you should definitely warm up to.
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