The shoulder is a mobile joint and very important for normal life activities. We often take it for granted until it no longer does what we need it to. Whether from accident, injury or just over work, shoulder pain can be debilitating. Sleep can be disrupted due to pain and this can really affect your life.
One nasty shoulder condition is Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis. It starts from what is usually a minor injury causing inflammation and the addition of scar tissue to the joint and as the name suggests if untreated it develops into a ‘frozen’ shoulder were every movement is limited by pain. This pain can limit movements like putting on a shirt, reaching up to hang clothes on the line or just washing your hair.
There are 3 main phases of this condition. Freezing or early phase which is where most of the pain is and this may last anywhere from 1 month to 9 months. The Frozen or second phase usually has less pain but the shoulder can be almost immovable for between 4 and 9 months. The Thawing or third phase brings more movement to the joint and brings the resolution of symptoms in most cases between 9 and 24 months.
The early phase of care is crucial. The sooner the inflammation is controlled and motion restored the less scar tissue develops (adhesions). Often the progression to phase 3 is shorter if action is taken early.
- Stop doing whatever causes pain.
- Apply ice at the location of pain. 10min on and off as much as possible.
- Light massage to surrounding muscles. This will help reduce bad motion that can keep loading injured tissue.
- Seek care ASAP for appropriate treatment and exercises/activities. Especially if you have experienced shoulder issues previously.
Avoiding the cause is wise. The chances of frozen shoulder developing really depends on correct motion at the joint. This is where a thorough chiropractic assessment is required. The shoulder blade rhythm must be addressed, shoulder joint position restored, upper back function and neck involvement identified and corrected.
So if you or someone you know is suffering any type of shoulder pain no matter how long or how many times they have had it they should get their spine and shoulder checked so complete healing can be encouraged and future relapses avoided.
If you have any more questions please give us a call.