Adhesive Capsulitis of the Shoulder Joint

The common name for Adhesive Capsulitis is “Frozen Shoulder”.  Patients with this disease will have problems raising their arms, and a general loss or decrease in their shoulders’ ranges of motion.  It usually occurs at 40 to 50 of age and predominately in females.  Patients with frozen shoulder will feel pain during certain arm movements eg. washing their hair or picking up a jar from the cupbard.  Because of this pain, patients will tend to avoid using their painful arm and rely on the other arm to do most of their daily work. But this is not a good idea because the dependence of one arm will cause excessive wear and tear and eventually straining the muscles and ligaments around the healthy arm.  The best way is to get treated immediately!

There are many causes to Frozen Shoulder and sometimes the cause can be unknown.  It may occur suddenly without a reason.  Some researchers have predicted that the major reason for frozen shoulder is due to prolonged wear and tear of the shoulder joint and the surrounding musculatures.   Overtime, they become inflammed and cause pain and restriction in movement.

There are three stages of Frozen shoulder
1) Acute stage:  Patient is starting to feel pain in the shoulder area.  It is a general pain and the arm movement begin to decrease.
2) Frozen stage:  Patient will feel extreme pain at certain arm movement and position especially when bending the arm back.  Other movements like washing or combing his/her hair seem to be very difficult.
3) Defrost stage:  Patient will feel much better in his/her arm movement.  The pain is starting to go away. This will take many weeks to months.

The first thing to do is not let the shoulder get more frozen and tight, therefore EXERCISE is the KEY!  We need to move and STRETCH the shoulder joint with correct exercise to make sure it is moving probably.  A chiropractor will teach the patients about all the required exercises and have them do these exercises rigorously everyday.  A chiropractor will also perform an adjustment on the shoulder to help open up the shoulder capsule and allow fluid and blood to flood probably.  In addition, physiotherapy such as ultrasound, high frequency, electrotherapy and muscle therapy will be used to enhance the results.  The earlier a patient gets treated, the faster the shoulder will heal!