Frozen shoulder syndrome

By Dr Guy Ashburner | September 27, 2012

Frozen shoulder syndrome

Frozen shoulder syndrome, or adhesive capsulitis occurs when the tissues surrounding the capsule of the shoulder becomes inflamed. This causes the tissues to thicken and eventually bond with each other leaving the sufferer less able to move the joint and often in a lot of pain.

The cause is unknown but one theory is that “long-standing round-shouldered posture causes a shortening of the shoulder ligaments, which then makes the patient predisposed to Frozen shoulder.

Osteopathy aims to reduce the pain and stiffness, by treating the inflammation of the shoulder tendons and restore function and mobility to the shoulder joints and soft-tissues with Osteopathic massage, subtle shoulder movements, pressure points and myofascial release . The result is each muscle has a normal response to the nervous system, but also restored joint biomechanics, as the joint must rely upon the surrounding muscles for movement.

An Osteopath will encourage the individual to become more self-aware and make adjustments to their lifestyle, diet and exercise regimes as necessary. When you have a frozen shoulder the posture you adopt is of great importance as it affects the speed of your healing and repair.

Poor posture creates shortening in fascia (connective tissue which entwines each body part like a web or clingfilm) which increases over time. Abnormal posture can bind the fascia to underlying tissues, causing “adhesions,” that cling to muscle fibers. Even though these adhesions do not show up on x-rays or other scans, they can stiffen joints or contribute to painful motions, such as frozen shoulder . If they occur near a nerve, this may cause numbness, pain, and tingling,. By freeing up fascia it improves circulation and nervous system transmission.

In the instance of a frozen shoulder, most osteopaths advocate early intervention for the best results before the adhesions of the shoulder capsule become too severe.


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