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Frozen Shoulder: The What, Where, Why,  When and What to do about it

This common shoulder problem is clinically referred to as “adhesive capsulitis”, or sticky joint. This problem is very common affecting 5% of the population at any one time and results in pain and a severely limited ability to move the shoulder.

What causes it?

– Most of the time there is no identifiable cause. Other times a simple trauma or sprain/strain may be the initiating event.

Who gets it?

– Women are more often affected than men, however men tend to have a slower recovery. Usually middle aged or older.

-Those with heart disease and diabetes ( both type 1 and type 2) are more often affected.

What is it?

-The shoulder capsule ( like a bag around the shoulder joint) becomes thickened, tightened, and stuck on the top of the upper arm bone, the humerus.

-This results in the arm’s movement being severely restricted in all movements.

There are 3 stages of the condition, “ Painful stage”, “Frozen stage” and “thawing stage” with the 3 stages lasting 1-30 months.

If I have it what do I do about it?

– Early intervention, waiting allows for increased adhesion, for this problem I employ a variety of tools; manual therapy ( moving the joint to improve movement) electrical modalities to inhibit tight muscles, instrumented soft tissue work to break down the adhesions and promote healing, co-management with the family physician. Chiropractic adjustments are used to maintain motion of spinal and rib joints associated with the shoulder girdle.

Patients themselves will also have a lot of work to do, icing, stretching and mobilizing the shoulder at home.

If you think you have frozen shoulder or know someone who does, give me a call, send me an email message, or find me on twitter or facebook, I can help you get through this trying condition.

Dr. Kevin Finn 905-831-3939

twitter   @drkevinfinn

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