Frozen shoulder is a condition that causes pain, stiffness, and a reduction in range of motion. It generally presents itself slowly over time and is described as a dull aching pain. Also called adhesive capsulitis, this issue most commonly affects people between the ages of 40 and 60 and affects more women than men. Injury can be a direct cause, as can overuse or disease. Medical treatments including surgery can also bring the onset of Frozen Shoulder. While the symptoms of the condition can take some time to be resolved, the good news is that it almost always improves over time with proper care.

What causes frozen shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is not fully understood, but certain factors have been found to increase the risk. People with diabetes are often affected, but also those with other conditions including thyroid problems, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiac disease. It is also often seen as a result of limited movement following a surgery, fracture, or other injury.
The reason frozen shoulder occurs is due to synovial fluid. Synovial fluid helps the shoulder joint, a ball and socket type joint, to lubricate the gap between the upper arm and the socket in the shoulder blade. A frozen shoulder has a lack of synovial fluid. This causes the tissue of the shoulder capsule to thicken and swell. The shoulder capsule consists of tissue that completely encircles the joint and separates the bones to allow for a wider range of motion. This tightening from the swelled capsule causes bands of scar tissue, called adhesions to form. With less space in the joint, movement is limited and becomes painful.


A full examination and history completed by an experienced chiropractic doctor is the first step that is taken to reach the goal of increased motion and decreased pain. The chiropractor will rule out any more serious conditions to determine the best plan for treatment. Typical treatment plans will involve stretching and exercises specifically designed to help. Ice, heat, electrical stimulation, and anti-inflammatory medications may also be needed. It has also been found that proper use of a cane or exercise bands can also reduce recovery time. Generally the stretching program is prescribed to be completed at least twice a day. Physical therapy is also helpful and usually is needed for a period of one to six weeks.

The length of recovery is different for each individual and depends on many factors. For some the condition is gone in a matter of weeks but can last up to several months. It is very uncommon that time and proper treatment will not resolve frozen shoulder. It is even more uncommon that surgery is required, but is a possibility if the body does not respond to a treatment program. The best method of prevention is to visit your chiropractor as soon as shoulder stiffness is experienced. Early treatment can significantly increase motion and reduce pain with a reduced recovery period.

Accelerate Chiropractic can help!

Accelerate Chiropractic have the skill and experience to diagnose and properly treat shoulder conditions including frozen shoulder. Our specialists are fully equipped to eliminate or improve the condition as soon as possible. Dr. Dave Yancey and Dr. Erika Yancey are passionate about providing treatment that allows you to continue your lifestyle in full and resolve the symptoms of frozen shoulder. Learn about our experience and contact us today to schedule your personalized consultation. It’s time to reclaim the freedom that comes with mobility and comfort through Accelerate Chiropractic’s care.
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