If your shoulder is really stiff or painful, it could be what’s known as ‘frozen shoulder’. Luckily, treatment by a chiropractor can help the condition.
What exactly is frozen shoulder?
Frozen shoulder is exactly what it sounds like – severe stiffness and an inability to move one’s shoulder the way they normally would. This is accompanied by varying levels of pain.
Dr William Choi, a Gonstead chiropractor at the Academy of Chiropractic Clinic tells us more about the condition. Medically known as “adhesive capsulitis”, frozen shoulder results from a build-up of inflamed scar tissue in the shoulder. Exactly why this happens isn’t known for sure.
It’s more likely to occur in people aged 40 and older, and people with diabetes, Parkinson’s or thyroid problems (including hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism). Also, people who recently had to immobilise their shoulders for long periods – after surgery or an injury, for instance – are more at risk, says Dr Choi.
Symptoms of frozen shoulder may include:
- Pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint
- Pain in your upper arm
- Difficulty sleeping on the side with the frozen shoulder
- Decreasing levels of mobility
- Inability to carry out your usual shoulder movements
How chiropractic can help
According to Dr Choi, chiropractic is a specialty of the nervous system, removing nerve irritation and inflammation from the spine through manual manipulation, called an adjustment. The purpose is to correct vertebral misalignments, which cause certain health symptoms and disorders.
As a Gonstead chiropractor, he uses five specific criteria to detect the presence of vertebral misalignment. These include visualisation, feeling the patient’s spine in both static and dynamic positions, x-ray analysis, and the use of an instrument called a Nervoscope, which can uncover any signs of inflammation.
A first examination entails a complete patient history, full spine x-ray analysis and instrumentation of the spinal column, says Dr Choi. Only then will spinal adjustments be made. Done by hand, Gonstead adjustments are safe and gentle, and never forced. “They are precise, bio-mechanically accurate and well-researched.”
Dr Choi sees many patients suffering from frozen shoulder and has seen great results after making adjustments. One of his recent frozen shoulder patients had a range of motion approximately 80 degrees in the forward and side directions, with limited ability to bring his arm behind his back. But, after adjustments were made, the patient’s range of motion increased up to 130 degrees,. “The patient is slowly finding it easier to bring his arm behind his back. Correcting his misalignments allowed us to move to other areas of his spine that required corrective care as well.”
So, if you think you may suffer from frozen shoulder, visit a chiropractor as soon as possible, he advises. “Early intervention and proper management of the condition will give you the best chance of a quick recovery.”
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