Can An Osteopath Help With My Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen Shoulder

Unexplained pain in your shoulder? Unable to sleep at night? Struggling to lift your arm up? Have you got Frozen Shoulder? Take a look below for the symptoms, causes and treatment options for the Frozen Shoulder syndrome.

What Is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen Shoulder (also known as Adhesive Capsulitis) is a complex musculoskeletal condition resulting in pain, stiffness and severe restriction of movement in the shoulder due to intense inflammation in the joint. In most cases the cause of this inflammation is uncertain however the symptoms are able to be alleviated using a number of different approaches including Osteopathic treatment.

What Causes Frozen Shoulder?

While pinpointing the exact cause for each individual is difficult, there are some common risk factors that can play a part in the onset of this condition; these include diabetes, heart disease, trauma and connective tissue disorders as well as those aged between 40-60 years.

Sometimes Frozen Shoulder can be as a result of previous trauma to the shoulder or because of recent surgery which renders the arm or shoulder unusable for a lengthy period of time.

5 Symptoms Of Frozen Shoulder

Some common symptoms associated with Adhesive Capsulitis or Frozen Shoulder are:

  1. A burning or prickling sensation in the shoulder
  2. Intense pain in the shoulder and/or radiating down the arm
  3. Inflammation of the joint
  4. Disturbed sleep patterns (due to pain and attempting to lay on the affected side)
  5. Restricted mobility and loss of range of motion (unable to lift, reach, or raise the arm fully)

The 3 Phases Of Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

There are 3 general stages or phases of the Frozen shoulder condition these are outlined below.

  1. Phase 1. Commonly referred to as the “Freezing” stage, when symptoms begin to occur, this is the most painful stage and it can last for a number of months.  
  2. Phase 2. Commonly referred to as the “Frozen” phase, when the pain starts to subside somewhat and the stiffness sets in, muscle loss is common due to underuse, this phase can last for many months or even over a year.
  3. Phase 3. Commonly referred to as the “Thawing” phase, when movement gradually returns to normal over many months.

Frozen Shoulder Treatment Options

As with any type of injury, early diagnosis and treatment is important and treatment options will vary for each individual. Frozen Shoulder sufferers can seek treatment from a number of healthcare providers including their GP, Physiotherapist and Osteopath. For the purposes of this post we will look at what an Osteopath can do for your Frozen Shoulder symptoms.

Osteopathy involves taking on a whole-body approach to healing which will include not only examination of the shoulder, but the spine, neck, arms and legs and will also include muscle, ligament and tendon function. This approach is useful for many painful conditions as often the underlying cause can be outside of the localised area of pain.  

An Osteopath is able to use soft manipulation techniques focussing on the pressure points surrounding the shoulder, as well as extension and movement techniques to keep the area mobile and restore range of movement. Osteopaths will also provide lifestyle advice to aid in lessening the pain where possible and also for ongoing management and prevention.

If you think you are suffering from Frozen Shoulder please seek the advice of a trained medical professional as soon as you can as early treatment can make a significant difference to treatment timeframes. For more information on what Osteopathy can do for your Frozen Shoulder syndrome contact Lorraine Herity at Better Health Osteopathy today.

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Better Health Osteopathy
Better Health Osteopathy
Lorraine Herity is the Clinic Director of Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch, New Zealand. She previously worked in Osteopathic clinics in London and Ireland, before moving to New Zealand. Lorraine trained at the British School of Osteopathy in London, where she gained her Master of Osteopathy (M.Ost). Lorraine is a dedicated and passionate Osteopath. Her main aim is to help her patients regain their health, and to return her patients back to their everyday activities, in as quick a time as possible.

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