Dealing with shoulder problems can range from mildly annoying to severely debilitating. Many individuals tend to overlook these concerns until they personally experience shoulder pain. One prevalent problem, known as “frozen shoulder,” can significantly disrupt everyday activities. If you find yourself grappling with this issue, you may wonder about potential solutions, including the possibility of upper cervical chiropractic assistance.
What is frozen shoulder?
A painful ailment known as frozen shoulder can impede the regular range of motion in your shoulder. Pain and inflammation restrict movement, resulting in stiffness that intensifies pain during attempted motion, creating a challenging cycle. Proper diagnosis and treatment are crucial for managing frozen shoulder. Achieving full recovery may span months or even years, underscoring the importance of receiving appropriate treatment promptly to restore mobility in your shoulder.
Understanding your shoulder
Your shoulder is a complex part of your body that helps you move your arm in many ways, like throwing a ball or reaching for things. Inside your shoulder, there’s a soft tissue sack called the capsule that keeps everything stable. In frozen shoulder, this capsule gets inflamed and tight, causing pain and making it hard to move your shoulder.
When you feel pain, you tend to use your shoulder less. But not using it makes the capsule even tighter, making it even harder to move. It’s like your shoulder gets stuck or frozen in one position, which is why we call it frozen shoulder.
How do you know that you have a frozen shoulder?
Frozen shoulder usually starts slowly, then gets worse before getting better, usually within 1–3 years. If you have frozen shoulder, you might feel:
- Strong pain
- Pain spreading down your arm
- More pain when you move your shoulder, but it improves when you rest
- Sleep disturbances
- Pain spreading to your upper back and neck
You may also notice that you’re being more careful with shoulder movements, having difficulty reaching behind your back, and keeping your arm close to your body instead of letting it swing while walking. Muscle spasms can occur too.
Who is at Risk of Developing Frozen Shoulder?
We’re not sure exactly what leads to frozen shoulder, but common risk factors include:
1. Being over 40 years old.
2. Being female.
3. Having a shoulder with limited movement due to:
- Rotator cuff injury
- Broken arm
- Recent surgery
4. Having an underlying health condition like:
- Thyroid disorders
- Cardiovascular disease
- Parkinson’s disease.
How is frozen shoulder treated?
It’s understandable to want to stop using your shoulder if it’s frozen and painful. However, avoiding all movement can make the condition worse.
The goal of treating a frozen shoulder is to reduce pain and improve mobility. Your Chiropractor may suggest a treatment plan that includes:
- Chiropractic adjustments to move the joint.
- Specific exercises to stabilize the joint.
- Stretches to loosen the soft tissues.
- Massage and trigger point therapy to release muscle tension.
Shoulders are complex, and your Chiropractor might recommend a team approach with other healthcare professionals like physiotherapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and your general practitioner.
If conservative treatments don’t work, more advanced options like injections or surgery may be considered.
To improve your frozen shoulder:
- Do your exercises daily using the techniques your chiropractor or physiotherapist taught you.
- Be patient, as it may take some time for the frozen shoulder to fully improve. Don’t give up.
How can upper cervical chiropractic help?
If your shoulders hurt a lot and you can’t move them well, chiropractic care can be helpful. The treatment is personalized for each person, but there are some general things chiropractors often do.
First, they work on the neck and upper back to improve how they move. This directly affects how well the shoulder works. Also, the part of the nervous system connected to the shoulder comes from the lower part of the neck. By making the neck move better and improving nervous system communication, the healing process can start.
Second, the chiropractor can manipulate the actual shoulder joint. There are different joints that can affect the shoulder’s health if they don’t move well. The chiropractor manipulates these joints to make them move properly and improve function.
Third, there are simple exercises you can do at home to improve shoulder movement. These include activities like a wall crawl or moving a broomstick in different ways. Your chiropractor can also suggest stretches for the muscles around the shoulder to make them more flexible.
Lastly, your chiropractor might suggest supplements to support joint health. One good supplement is collagen protein, which comes from the bone marrow of chicken, beef, or lamb. It’s excellent for joint health and has become more popular, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find.
Having a frozen shoulder can be really tough, but chiropractic care can help you recover faster and with less pain.
If you want a gentle and caring upper cervical chiropractic experience, come see us at Foundation Chiropractic in Lutz, FL. You can call our office at 813–578–5889 to schedule a complimentary consultation. We’re excited to meet you and assist with relieving frozen shoulder symptoms.
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Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Corrections to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or products you obtain through this article or others.