Adhesive Capsulitis

Symptoms by body part:

Acromial region (Shoulder)
Chronic Pain
Frozen Shoulder
Reduction in Range of Motion

Adhesive Capsulitis is more commonly known as frozen shoulder. It often occurs following an injury to the shoulder, upper back or neck. It is also common after surgery in these areas. These injuries will cause painful motion, thus the individual will often limit the use of their shoulder. As they continue to limit usage, the brachial plexus, which is the neurovascular bundle that extends from your neck into your shoulder and upper extremity, becomes constricted by surrounding tissue structures. This leads to even more pain with attempted normal range of motion in the shoulder.

Symptoms Include:

  • Shoulder stiffness
  • Decreased range of motion of the shoulder
  • Pain and stiffness in the lower neck
  • Pain and stiffness in scapula (shoulder blade) or upper back
  • Pain, occasional numbness or tingling down the affected arm
  • Extreme pain during movement of shoulder

Chiropractic Neurological care has very effective ways to successfully restore biomechanics and alleviate pain. It is important to understand that the shoulder mechanics are not limited to muscles, joints or nerves individually, but a combination of all. Therefore, when we diagnose the cause(s) of adhesive capsulitis, we examine and treat multiple systems. This allows the patient to respond quickly, often with noticeable changes seen within a few short weeks. The shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the human body, and therefore relies on surrounding musculature to retain its normal function and range of motion. Consequently, muscular retraining is a very important component of your treatment, along with joint therapy, as muscle action follows the joint structure. If joints are limited in motion, the muscles will tighten in response. If joints are functioning normal, muscles will relax and function normally. This means that in order to fully recover from an injury such as this, we must treat the nerves, joints and muscles, as they are all responsible for the function and recovery of the tissues in the shoulder region.

In summary, once the function of the muscles, joints and nerves around the shoulder are restored, constriction of the neurovascular bundle will be alleviated and thus normal and pain-free motion will resume.

Common Treatments:

  • Myofascial release and proprioceptive neurological facilitative stretching to retrain muscle groups and decrease tension in surrounding musculature
  • Mirror therapy to retrain parietal lobe's understanding of joint and muscle position
  • Muscle stim and ultrasound to reduce inflammation
  • Cold laser therapy to reduce inflammation and accelerate healing of tissue
  • Adjustments to restore normal joint and structural mechanics that may be affected
  • Strengthening and stretching to restore posture, joint position and muscular health