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Give Frozen Shoulder the Cold Shoulder

Blog by Dr. Michael Horowitz | March 25th, 2017

Have you been experiencing extreme stiffness or limited motion in your shoulder? You may have frozen shoulder, known medically as adhesive capsulitis. Frozen shoulder may be brought on from an injury, overuse, or from diseases like diabetes or a stroke. It occurs primarily in people aging 40-60, and appears more commonly in women. Frozen shoulder is characterized by three stages:

  1. The Freezing Stage – Shoulder pain begins to be experienced with no apparent cause. The pain begins to get worse, until eventually it severely limits range of motion in the shoulder. This can last anywhere from weeks to months.
  2. The Frozen Stage – At this stage, shoulder pain has become so severe that range of movement is so limited that your shoulder begins to feel as though it is frozen in place. Any attempted movement outside of the limited range results in pain.
  3. The Thawing Stage – After the frozen stage, the shoulder pain begins to slowly subside and range of motion is increased gradually. Without treatment, frozen shoulder can run its course within 12 to 18 months.

166186-frozen-shoulder-woman.jpgBut who has an entire year to sacrifice to chronic shoulder pain and loss of shoulder mobility?

When most people hear the term chiropractor, they think of treatment for back pain, however chiropractors treat a wide range of aches and pains, including frozen shoulder. In most instances it is difficult to determine the exact cause of frozen shoulder, but chiropractic treatment focuses on proper joint alignment of the shoulder, and improving both movement and flexibility gradually. Studies have supported the use of chiropractic treatment for alleviating frozen shoulder symptoms completely.

Registered massage therapy is another effective, non-invasive, drug-free approach to treating frozen shoulder. During the freezing stage, the priority is pain management through gentle massage. During the frozen stage, the emphasis is on improving and restoring mobility, and during the last stage it is important to continue restoring range of movement for a faster recovery time. If you have frozen shoulder, or suspect that you do, give us a call today to make an appointment with a chiropractor or registered massage therapist, or book online!

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