In one such instance, a 53-year old woman reported complete relief from a condition known as frozen shoulder syndrome (FSS) following a course of chiropractic treatments. The adjustments concentrated on manipulating the frozen shoulder joint and the area at the base of the neck. Chiropractic worked where other treatments had failed, including physical therapy and pain killing medications.
FSS is a painful and debilitating condition of the shoulder where the arm movement is extremely limited. The slightest movement can produce a great deal of pain. Frozen shoulder syndrome affects more women then men, and can also mimic conditions such as cervical radiculitis, rotator cuff strain and bursitis or tendonitis. In a genuine case of FSS, you’ll always have inflammation and scar tissue formation of the joint capsule.
The cause of FSS is not clear. Patients usually report having previously injured the involved shoulder at some point.
The Role of Chiropractic for FSS
Since nerves supplying the shoulder joint and surrounding tissues originate in the neck, it is always advisable to have your chiropractor assess your neck for vertebral subluxations if you are suffering from this, or any other painful shoulder condition. Restoring proper movement in the spine can help assist proper nerve function in the shoulder area. This can contribute to your recovery.
Shoulder movement and stabilization requires a great deal of muscular coordination, so joint manipulation alone may have limited success in many cases of FSS. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, exercise and stretching are the most recommended forms of complementary therapies.
In tougher cases where these therapies are ineffective, more aggressive therapy for FSS may consist of surgically removing the capsular adhesions, or using corticosteroid injections. Surgery should be considered as a last resort. It’s more expensive, carries a greater risk of complications, and often requires a long term recovery from the surgery itself.
If you or anyone you know may be suffering from frozen shoulder syndrome, let your chiropractor know. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to be a very effective tool to help resolve this painful condition. Keep in mind that FSS usually takes a long time to heal, but any improvement represents a significant enhancement to the person’s quality of life