With a frozen shoulder, there is inflammation in the shoulder joint. As a result, the capsule around the joint shrinks and thickens creating tightness and scar-tissue. As a result, the shoulder becomes stiff, acutely painful and can no longer produce a full range of motion. This means that the whole arm could be painful and unable to function properly. Performing everyday activities, such as washing, dressing and cooking, therefore become more difficult or even impossible.
A frozen shoulder is therefore different from shoulder osteoarthritis: with osteoarthritis in the shoulder, wear and tear of the cartilage whereas frozen shoulder is from inflammation in the joint as a result are the culprit.
This condition develops gradually and goes through three stages. It starts with the ‘freezing phase’. The inflammation causes an annoying and acute pain that is continuously present in the shoulder.
This can get worse at night, especially if you sleep on the shoulder. The pain increases when arm is used, especially with sudden movements. In this phase – which can sometimes last for months – the mobility of the shoulder decreases.
In the ‘frozen phase’, the shoulder feels stiff and the possibilities for many shoulder movements are limited. Moving the shoulder joint is normally less painful unless brought into stiffness range. This phase can also last for months.
The final stage of the disease process is called the “thawing phase.” The stiffness and pain decrease, and the possibilities of movement of the shoulder joint increase. The patient experiences that performing everyday activities is becoming easier and easier. Eventually, full recovery follows.
These three phases of a frozen shoulder can last a total of three years.
With the help of a chiropractor, it is very often shorter.
If you do not have a frozen shoulder treated, it can take up to three years before the shoulder is healed with some cases that the shoulder . Chiropractic can speed up this process considerably. The chiropractor will explain what is going on with your shoulder and, in addition to the treatment, will also advise how and how much you can strain the shoulder. Through manipulation joints are treated and freedom of movement is restored. Dry needling and shockwave therapy can also help with a frozen shoulder. The pain will become less and your body feels better after each treatment. As soon as the pain subsides and the shoulder becomes less stiff, we give exercises that you can easily do yourself at home. This way you can recover even faster and get back to moving and enjoying your life again.