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What is Frozen Shoulder Adhesive Capsulitis

Chiropractic, Massage Therapy (RMT), Chiropractic or Chiropractor, Physiotherapy, Deep Tissue Massage


Chiropractic, Massage Therapy (RMT), Chiropractic or Chiropractor, Physiotherapy, Deep Tissue Massage

Frozen Shoulder, also known as Adhesive Capsulitis, is a condition that causes a significant  restriction in movement of the shoulder joint.  The condition is often very painful and can be extremely disabling.  Patients will complain of moderate to severe pain in the shoulder with limited ability to move the arm in any direction, but most commonly overhead, behind the back, or into external rotation.   

Symptoms of a Frozen Shoulder

  • Progressive loss of active and passive movement in the shoulder

  • Swelling and inflammation

  • Strong pain at rest

  • Pain is aggravated by movement

  • Pain at night and difficulty lying on the affected side

Chiropractic, Massage Therapy (RMT), Chiropractic or Chiropractor, Physiotherapy, Deep Tissue Massage
Chiropractic, Massage Therapy (RMT), Chiropractic or Chiropractor, Physiotherapy, Deep Tissue Massage
Causes of Frozen Shoulder Adhesive Capsulitis

The medical and scientific community is still not completely sure what causes Frozen Shoulder or Adhesive Capsulitis.  Often there is some form of micro or macro trauma to the neck or shoulder region, or to the nerves originating from the neck and supplying the shoulder.  This trauma can be in the form of a repetitive strain (eg. repetitive pushing, pulling or lifting), postural strain or acute strain (eg. sports injury, motor vehicle accident, direct blow).  What’s perplexing is why some shoulders become ‘frozen’ while others don’t.  Frozen shoulder or Adhesive Capsulitis is more common in middle aged women, and often affects those with hormonal imbalances or those dealing with some other form of stress.  Adrenal fatigue, depression or anxiety, menopause, viral infection, and heart disease are common examples of stress in those suffering from Frozen Shoudler.  Unfortunately, 20% to 30% of people who have Frozen Shoulder on one side, will go on to develop an adhesive capsulitis Frozen Shoulder on the other side at some point in their lives.



Stages of Frozen Shoulder


Stage 1: "Pre Freezing"

During the “pre-freezing” phase, it may be difficult to identify your problem as adhesive capsulitis. You've had symptoms for 1 to 3 months, and they're just getting worse. Pain is the hallmark feature of this stage. It usually aches when you're not using it, but the pain increases and becomes "sharp" with movement. You'll begin to limit shoulder motion during this period and protect the shoulder by using it less.

-       * The movement loss is most noticeable in "external rotation" (this is when you rotate your arm away from your body), but you might start to lose motion when you raise your arm or reach behind your back.


Stage 2: "Freezing"

The “freezing” stage can occur from 3 to 9 months after the onset of symptoms.  You may notice an increase in pain (especially while sleeping at night) as well as progressive loss of shoulder movement. The shoulder still has some range of movement, but it is limited by both pain and stiffness.

Stage 3: "Frozen"

The “frozen” stage can last from 9-18 months after the onset of symptoms.  During this time  you will experience greatly decreased range of shoulder movement. There is still a substantial amount of pain, especially in the early part of this stage, but pain tends to decrease towards the end of this stage.  By the end of the frozen stage, you will likely only have pain when you move your shoulder as far as you can move it - that is, to it’s maximum range of motion.

Stage 4: "Thawing"

The “thawing” stage can begin at around 15-18 months or longer after the initial onset of symptoms, and lasts for and additional 3-6 months.  This stage is typically characterized by less pain (especially at night), as well as a long-awaited gradual increase in shoulder range of motion.  You will still have limited range of movement, but your ability to complete your daily activities involving overhead motion will gradually start to improve.

Total Time:

All in all, persons with a frozen shoulder can expect to have some form of pain, stiffness, or loss of range of motion for a total of 18-30 months.  Full recovery typically takes about 2 years, although some persons do not always fully recover the range of motion they had prior to getting frozen shoulder.


SHROM -  Integrate’s Solution to Adhesive Capsulitis Frozen Shoulder

What is SHROM?

SHROM stands for Shoulder Hydrodistension with Range Of Motion and is a treatment that can be used to release the fibrous tissue restrictions of a frozen shoulder, resulting in immediate resolution of the symptoms of a frozen shoulder.


How does it work?


SHROM works in 2 steps:


- The first step is hydrodistension, where we use ultrasound guidance to inject an anesthetic, steroid, and saline into your shoulder joint. This helps to open up the constricted joint space and weaken the fibrous tissue surrounding the joint capsule.


- The second step is range of motion, where a therapist helps guide your shoulder through the full range of motion of the joint. This helps to break adhesions of the fibrous scar tissue in your shoulder to help restore normal range of motion.


What are the outcomes?

Patients can expect significant reductions in pain and a significant increase in range of motion immediately after the procedure.  Essentially, SHROM can resolve the pain and stiffness of a frozen shoulder more quickly than letting it run it’s natural course, and offers a more permanent solution than repeated visits to manual medicine practitioners to palliate your shoulder pain throughout the period of natural recovery.  This treatment has had a high success rate as well as high patient satisfaction at our clinic to date.


How do I get a SHROM?

Simply call the clinic to book an initial SHROM assessment.  You will be taken through an initial assessment to determine if indeed you are suffering from Adhesive Capsulitis Frozen Shoulder, and if our SHROM treatment is right for you.  If so, we’ll help you prepare for your procedure, which will be booked after the assessment.

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