Thursday, December 27, 2012

Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)

Immobility of the shoulder is a chronic and debilitating condition brought on by trauma, repetitive injury or very often by some unknown cause.  It involves decreased range of motion (ROM), sharp pain with overhead lifting, and decreased motivation for fitness activities.  These all participate in a negative feedback cycle to cause more injury and longer healing times.   The break this cycle, significant alterations in daily activities need to be completed to influence faster recovery. A few at home exercises can be done daily to help you reduce the time it takes to heal.

The current research suggests that without treatment frozen shoulder can take upwards of three years to resolve on its own. With treatment (chiropractic, physiotherapy & massage) and rigorous home exercise that time is cut down to 1/3 or more, between six months and a year.   The take home message is active treatment is very important including chiropractic mobilization,  Active Release Technique®, Graston® Therapy. In addition to active treatment, specific home exercises have been linked to further increase in ROM and mobility.  Follow along to the activities below to start the healing process;

A.      Muscular Tightness: 

50% of the shoulder stability is by supporting muscles. Releasing the muscles is half the battle. The rotator cuff muscle group along with the biceps and pectoralis muscles all contribute.

1.)      Codmans Arm Swings - let arm hang straight with loose shoulder and rotate arm in concentric circles. Using a milk container with a handle and 1-2" water or  a small soup can.

 Small weight 1-2lbs 30 small circles both directions.

2.)      Wall Walks 
 Reach small line on wall 5x/day. Stabilize your shoulder blade by trying to squeeze them both together.

    B. Capsule & Ligament Tightness: 

3.)      Broomstick push - let the injured arm hold the top of the broomstick, letting the bad shoulder go loose, try to push the injured shoulder into difficult positions with the other arm. 

4.)    ROM stretch - Fingers touch behind back - both sides. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

5.)  Arm across the front stretch opening up posterior supporting muscles. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

3.      Shoulder Rehabilitation Program:

The next progression of the protocol to strengthen the shoulder after the ROM has been restored.  Please see Dr. Derek Vinge at Fit Chiropractic for the next step. 


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