Adhesive capsulitis is most commonly referred to as “frozen shoulder” because the symptoms make it seem like the shoulder is stuck and can’t move. It is thought to be due to a sudden change in the proteins of the shoulder joint that makes it more adhesive or sticky. This change causes the shoulder capsule to be “shrink wrapped” around the bones limiting motion and causing severe pain. .
What is Frozen Shoulder?
There historically have been three well defined phases of frozen shoulder. The first is the freezing phase where the initial pain onset begins and can last 10-36 weeks. The next stage is the frozen phase, where there is severe stiffness of the joint and can last 4-12 months and finally the thawing phase where the shoulder returns to its original state which can last 5-24 months. There is an implication that you will go through each stage sequentially, however, there has been evidence that shows without treatment a patient can stay in any phase for a prolonged or indefinite period of time if they don’t get care.
What Causes Frozen Shoulder?
The exact reason for frozen shoulder is actually unknown but we do know what can influence the development of frozen shoulder:
● Systemic conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disease
● An injury in the shoulder including fractures, dislocations and rotator cuff injuries
● External factors including stroke, trauma, and symptoms in the opposite shoulder
● It is a condition that is more common in females between the ages of 40 - 60 years old
I have gone to a few different chiropractors before for my neck, shoulder and back pain but my experience with Dr. Vlad is unmatched! Treatment at Baseline has helped alleviate my chronic headaches and neck/back pain through improvements in my posture. This has had many additional benefits such as an increase in energy, improvements in mood and the treatments have also helped me with my breathing. Dr. Vlad has a very unique approach as a chiropractor, he is always keeping up with new techniques to help improve my long-term health.
How We Take Care of Your Frozen Shoulder
With an integrated team of Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Registered Massage Therapists, Acupunturists and Kinesiologists, we have you covered for your shoulder-related problems.
Our initial goal with frozen shoulder is to determine in which stage your shoulder is in and provide the most appropriate care at that time. Typically speaking we will want to improve the range of motion of the shoulder with exercises and manual therapy over time. Once these curated exercises improve the range of motion, we are going to focus on stabilizing the shoulder and finally strengthening the shoulder from future injuries.
A combination of different treatments can include:
● Soft tissue manipulation to address muscle tightness and trigger points
● Stretching and exercise to manage between treatments
● Chiropractic adjustments to help with stiff joints in the shoulder
● Acupuncture and massage therapy to decrease stress in the shoulder area
● Ergonomic changes to your work setting to decrease stress on your shoulder
If your condition does require further testing or treatment, we can refer you to one of the trusted specialists that we have in our network.
I found Dr Au and his team to be very knowledgeable and thorough. I came in with a frozen shoulder and the adjustment and suction cup treatment alone made a difference for me. Within a short period of time I was able to increase my range of motion with the exercises they recommended. My son also saw Dr Au for shoulder related injury and there is no one else I would go to .
Christy is the star! I had all kinds of discomfort in years on my neck, shoulder, lower back and knees from sport injuries and improper positions. Christy is very knowledgeable. She knows why my discomforts are there and how to relieve them. She’s able to perform a quick adjustments to all of the pain points I listed above and taught me exercises I can do at home to further ease those discomforts. My body already felt so relaxed and refreshed when she adjusted my spine and neck. Highly recommend Christy as your chiropractor!
You don’t have to live with Frozen ShoulderResearch states the natural course of frozen shoulder is about 6 months to 2 years long. That means, that typically speaking the disease will come and go completely on it’s own within a maximum of 2 years. However, we have seen some cases in the office go on for as long as 8 years before being treated. Once the shoulder regains the movement through treatments and exercises, the symptoms can resolve. Sometimes the process is longer for certain individuals, but everyone has a potential benefit from manual therapy with frozen shoulder. You don’t have to live your whole life with a frozen shoulder!
If you resonate with any of these points, give Baseline a call or go online and book an appointment with one of our practitioners.
Written by: Dr. Vlad Constantinescu, Vancouver Chiropractor