Frozen shoulder: Causes, symptoms and treatment
Do you suffer from a painful and stiff shoulder?
This is often a sign of overload and inflammation. Maybe you have a frozen shoulder. How does a frozen shoulder develop, what symptoms can you experience and how do you reduce complaints? In this blog we give explanations and tips if you suffer from a frozen shoulder. So that you can quickly enjoy life again without pain!
Did you know that about 5% of the Dutch population sometimes suffers from a frozen shoulder? This is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 70.
What is a frozen shoulder?
A frozen shoulder is the English name for a total stiffening of the shoulder joint. This is a protective mechanism of your body, in response to the inflammation of the joint capsule. In this way, you are forced to rest and relieve your shoulder.
The joint capsule is a thin layer of connective tissue (2 mm) around the head and socket. Due to the inflammation, the hairstyle becomes thicker and stiffer. The rack goes out, limiting the mobility of your shoulder and arm. The shoulder becomes ‘frozen’, as it were.
Causes frozen shoulder
The cause of a frozen shoulder is often unclear. Usually an overload, fall or wrong movement of the shoulder is the cause. If you work a lot with your hands above your head like a painter, you run a higher risk of frozen shoulder than others. When the shoulder is not or hardly used, there is a chance of a frozen shoulder. Think of a fracture in the arm, which is therefore held in a sling. There is a greater chance of a frozen shoulder in certain diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s and thyroid disorders. Long-term stress also plays an important role.
A frozen shoulder develops gradually. Recovery is slow and can sometimes take up to three years. Fortunately, chiropractic treatments speed up the healing process!
Frozen shoulder symptoms
With a frozen shoulder you often suffer from a nagging, pressing pain. There are also often problems with moving, the name frozen shoulder says it all: the feeling that the shoulder is ‘frozen’. The pain is especially noticeable at night, but can also be continuously present. The pain that is characteristic of a frozen schoulder can be divided into three different phases:
1. Freezing/pain phase
In the first phase – which can sometimes last for months – many people experience an annoying pain in the shoulder that is constantly present, even if you do nothing. The pain can radiate into the upper arm, forearm and sometimes also into the upper back and neck. The mobility of the shoulder decreases, making simple things like dressing and undressing, grabbing something from a high cabinet and driving painful. Sleeping also becomes more difficult, especially if you lie on the painful shoulder. Try not to force movements with your shoulder.
2. Frozen phase
In this phase, the shoulder feels stiff and the possibilities of movement are limited. Moving the shoulder joint now hurts less. This phase can also last for months.
3. Defrosting phase
In the last stage, stiffness and pain decreases. You can move your shoulder and arm more easily, allowing you to pick up everyday things again. Sports can also be resumed in a normal way. Eventually, the pain disappears completely and your shoulder feels like before.
Frozen shoulder treatment
If you do not have a frozen shoulder treated, it can take up to more than three years before you get rid of it. Fortunately, chiropractic can speed up this process considerably. During the first visit, the chiropractor will ask questions about your symptoms and overall health. By using different methods, we investigate where the complaint comes from, what the cause is and why the complaint has developed. The chiropractor will explain what exactly is going on and draw up a personal treatment plan. Through manipulation, also called ‘cracking’, joints are treated and freedom of movement is restored. Dry needling and shockwave therapy can also help with a frozen shoulder. The pain becomes less and you feel better after each treatment. As soon as the pain decreases and the shoulder becomes less stiff, we give exercises that you can easily do yourself at home. This way you recover even faster.
Chiropractic does not treat symptoms, but addresses the cause of the problem.
Shockwave therapy for a frozen shoulder
Shockwave therapy is a relatively modern treatment method for disorders of tendons and joints, such as a frozen shoulder. With the help of a device, the painful spots in the body are treated with shock waves. Shockwave therapy stimulates the self-healing effect of the body. The energy released is absorbed into the painful tissue. The body responds to this by making various substances that stimulate recovery and improve blood flow. In addition to a frozen shoulder, shockwave therapy helps with a painful neck, back knee or ankle and tennis or golfer’s elbow. Moving is easier and the pain stays away. The results of shockwave therapy have been scientifically proven.
Chiropractic and a frozen shoulder
The chiropractor can explain to you what is going on with your shoulder and will also advise how and how much you can load the shoulder in addition to the treatment. A short summary: With a frozen shoulder you have pain in the shoulder, often radiating to the upper arm. This pain is caused by inflammation of the joint capsule. The pain gets worse and worse and your shoulder stiffens. Moving is painful, but you can also suffer at rest. A frozen shoulder almost always recovers on its own, but this can take a very long time. It is good to keep moving – within the pain threshold. Chiropractic helps with recovery. Do you have complaints that look like a frozen shoulder? Do you sleep badly because of a sore shoulder? Would you like to reduce your complaints and get rid of that annoying pain? Then make an appointment now for an initial consultation.
You do not need a referral from the doctor for this. We have already helped many people with a frozen shoulder, you are in the right place with us!