The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in our bodies, so it makes sense to show it extra love when it comes to keeping it healthy and well. Shoulder movements make up more than half the upper body movements, but often injuries to the shoulder joint can be detrimental to our well-being. Today we will focus on one such injury or condition: frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is a form of stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. The unresolved condition can worsen and limit us from performing arm and upper body range of motion. Manual Osteopathy is an effective treatment option to help heal issues caused by a frozen shoulder.
The shoulder consists of three major bones creating a ball and socket joint; Upper arm (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collar bone (clavicle). There’s soft tissue surrounding the joint forming, a capsule to hold everything. With a frozen shoulder, the capsule becomes thick and immobile. Scar tissues formed around the joint due to a lack of lubrication (synovial fluid)cause tissue thickening. Injuries and overuse without adequate rest of the shoulder cause scarring, untreated lead to inflammation, and symptoms of frozen shoulder.
Common symptoms of frozen shoulder are pain and stiffness, and low range of motion. Dull achy pain is felt around the shoulder round and may transfer to the biceps, triceps, and upper shoulder blade.
Symptoms occur in three stages.
Shoulder injuries, arthritis, and certain genetic conditions may be the leading causes of a frozen shoulder. Torn rotator cuffs usually lead to shoulder weakening, along with postural imbalances (rounding shoulders or hunching) places excessive pressure on the shoulder capsule. Capsule irritation leads to the thickening of the tissue and restricting mobility. Joint inflammation caused by arthritis can slow down the healing process leading to frozen shoulder symptoms. Abnormal thyroid functions, heart disease, and diabetes affects the healing process and could affect pre-existing shoulder problems.
A combination of manual therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, ibuprofen), and corticosteroid injections can help improve and heal the shoulder. I usually recommend Manual Osteopathy as an effective treatment plan. The various mobilization techniques can help break down scar tissue, facilitate increased blood circulation, and increase range of motion. Manual Osteopathy can also help strengthen your muscles and joints perform daily activities with reduced pain and discomfort.