Frozen Shoulder Causes are so elusive and can be difficult to treat. For most people shoulder pain and limited movement in the joint are the most common. Whether you are trying to move the shoulder yourself or someone else is trying to move your arm, there comes a point in each direction of movement where the motion simply stops, as if something is blocking it. At this point, the shoulder usually hurts. The shoulder can also feel quite painful at night. This tightness in the shoulder can make it difficult to do regular activities like getting dressed, combing your hair, or reaching across a table. The pain and considerable stiffness caused by Frozen Shoulder Syndrome is worsened by struggling to restore and create movement with physical therapy, Chinese Tui Na methods, painful stretching exercises, or forced passive (assisted) motion therapies in some modalities.
The diagnosis of frozen shoulder is usually made on the basis of your medical history and physical examination. One key finding that helps differentiate a frozen shoulder from a rotator cuff tear is how the shoulder moves. With frozen shoulder, the shoulder motion is the same whether the patient or the doctor tries to move the arm. With a rotator cuff tear, the patient cannot move the arm. But when someone else lifts the arm it can be moved in a nearly normal range of motion.
As opposed to natural therapies Chiropractic treatments for frozen shoulder, medical treatment of frozen shoulder might be an injection of cortisone and a long-acting anesthetic, similar to Novocain, to get the inflammation under control. Cortisone is a steroid that is very effective at reducing inflammation. Controlling the inflammation relieves some pain and allows the chiropractic treatments to be more effective. In some cases, it helps to inject a long-acting anesthetic with the cortisone right before a chiropractic session. This allows the chiropractic doctor to manually break up the adhesion while the shoulder is numb from the anesthetic. We DO NOT practice this form of procedure in our office.
Medical doctors often employ manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) which we do not recommend until your have tried conservative (hands-on) treatment such as chiropractic care for frozen shoulder. With MUA, you are put to sleep with general anesthesia. Then the doctor aggressively stretches your shoulder joint. The heavy action of the manipulation stretches the shoulder joint capsule and breaks up the scar tissue. In most cases, the manipulation improves motion in the joint faster than allowing nature to take its course. You may need this procedure more than once. And this procedure has risks. There is a very slight chance the stretching could injure the nerves of the brachial plexus, the network of nerves running to your arm. And there is a risk of fracturing the humerus (the bone of the upper arm), especially in people who have osteoporosis (fragile bones).
Chiropractic treatment plays a critical role in helping you regain the motion and function of your frozen shoulder. Initial treatments are directed at getting the frozen muscles to relax. Joint manipulation of the shoulder can really speed up the recovery process. This is where chiropractic manipulation has an advantage over other specialties. It is important to manipulate and stretch capsular joint restrictions during the treatment phase. You will also be given exercises and stretches to do as part of a home program. However, treatment of some frozen shoulders can be frustrating and slow. Most cases eventually improve, but the process may take months. The goal of your initial treatment is to decrease inflammation and increase the range of motion of the shoulder.