Frozen shoulder will not only cause discomfort and pain, it can be completely debilitating for some people. In severe cases, frozen shoulder treatment may even eventually involve surgery to treat.
Frozen shoulder affects at least 2 percent of the general adult population. The condition has been known to especially affect people between the ages of 40 and 60. In addition, people who are diabetic are believed to have an increased risk of developing the condition.
Chiropractic is considered an effective frozen shoulder and shoulder pain treatment as it focuses on the root causes of the problem, as opposed to just the symptoms. Case in point: while medications treat pain, it does not often address the underlying problem.
Chiropractic combined with proper rehabilitation therapy, on the other hand, offers not only relief from a current episode but acts as a preventative strategy against future recurrence.
Chiropractic and Frozen Shoulder
Using chiropractic for frozen shoulder treatment involves a combination of treatments exercise to treat the condition and educate patients how to safeguard against it’s return. Prevention using chiropractic care involves addressing lifestyle issues which may have contributed to the condition and proper stretching and strengthening exercises to fix muscle and soft tissue imbalances which are often present.
Regular chiropractic care coupled with healthy lifestyle measures (i.e. proper exercise and a healthy diet) can also help prevent the onset of conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other conditions which may increase the likelihood of developing mobility issues. Chiropractic care has also been known to stimulate good health and offset the development of conditions often associated with ageing.
When assessing a patient with frozen shoulder, the chiropractor will first determine which stage they are in and what natural range of motion they can achieve. Along with this they will assess for tightened or damaged muscles, tendons, ligaments or fascia which may be causing the lack of mobility.
Frozen shoulder may also present with increased inflammation in and around the shoulder joint. And in many cases, patients may have abnormal movement or alignment of neck or upper back joints which can irritate nerves and surrounding tissues. Thus, to properly treat frozen shoulder, a patient is well advised to look at all of the surrounding areas which may be contributing to their condition.
Other Useful Therapies and Treatments to Help Frozen Shoulder
Besides the manual assessments and treatments a qualified chiropractor may use, there are some helpful therapies which can help to ease a patient’s pain faster suffering from frozen shoulder.
Cases of acute or recent frozen shoulder may benefit from treatment with low level laser therapy (LLLT), also known as “cold laser”. This device helps to accelerate the natural cellular housekeeping and clearing of waste products from a damaged area. This will reduce inflammation and pain, and aid in the recovery process.
Once a frozen shoulder patient has moved into the later stages of frozen shoulder that are generally less painful, radial shockwave therapy (RSWT) may prove beneficial at helping to restore proper range of motion.
It accomplishes this with precise, rapid percussion that penetrates deep into the tissues and helps to break down fibrous adhesions or scar tissue. It also aids in improving blood flow to the area by a process known as neovascularization.
Along with these more modern modalities, one of the most tried and true common forms of therapy used for frozen shoulder is electrical stimulation, otherwise known as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS. The treatment is typically used to manage pain and reduce spasm in muscles.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation makes use of a small electrical current which passes through electrodes that are attached to the skin. This stimulation works by stimulating the release of endorphins (pain-inhibiting molecules) and enabling the obstruction of the pain sensing nerve fibres in the body.
When used in the treatment of frozen shoulder, chiropractic addresses the most pressing issues of all — getting the body to move more easily and helping the patient get back to an active lifestyle in the shortest amount of time. Once the body has been aligned and can already move with less restriction, the need for anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications is minimised.
Beyond treating painful conditions like frozen shoulder, chiropractic care addresses many aspects of overall health like exercise, diet, and the maintenance of the body’s alignment and proper movement. By doing so, the chances of developing this and other debilitating conditions are minimised.
Moreover, properly administered chiropractic care has minimal risks and chances of side effects from care. Chiropractors will also recommend the best follow up rehabilitation programme to follow so conditions like frozen shoulder are resolved, optimum physical movement is obtained, and the best quality of life is achieved.