Healing Frozen Shoulder Quickly and Completely
Frozen Shoulder, a highly painful and incapacitating condition, is witnessing an alarming rising incidence.
The process of healing can be exhausting and tedious and typically consists of months of physiotherapy along with home exercises, which might last anywhere between 6 to 12 months. Yet, it’s not uncommon to see the issue re-emerging in the same or the opposite shoulder. Why does this happen?
For answers let’s delve deeper and understand the ROOT CAUSE of this condition.
A common story of frozen shoulder:
“I guess it’s been coming on for months but it’s been off and on so I haven’t done much about it… a few stretches when it’s bugging me but that’s about it. Now it’s starting to really drive me nuts. The pain is going down my arm and sometimes even to my elbow. Yesterday I couldn’t chop an onion and it hurt to put my phone in my back pocket! I’m started to feel useless.“
Kim is 47, loves to run, and has a desk job. She has no history of injury to her shoulder, but she does use that arm to mouse, scroll and chop. Kim knows after years of 40 hour work weeks sitting at a desk that her posture is suffering; her neck and shoulders always feel tense but she assumes that comes with the territory. She’s even beginning to worry about getting that “Quasimodo hump”, however, right now her number one concern is getting her arm and shoulder to feel better.
Kim’s shoulder mobility is becoming more and more limited. Lately, she’s having trouble doing up her bra and just yesterday it even hurt to put her phone in her back pocket… that’s what prompted her to call us. It turns out it’s a good thing she did because Kim is developing a frozen shoulder: Yikes!
What causes frozen shoulder?
The discomfort experienced in frozen shoulder stems from the formation of scar tissue within the shoulder joint. But the important question is – what triggers this? What makes our bodies decide to defend our shoulders to an extent of causing them to “freeze”?
The genesis of a frozen shoulder can be traced back to an imbalance in the way we utilize our shoulder, neck, and upper back joints. A frequent slouched posture, with our heads leaning forward while working on a computer or driving, leads to tension build-up in the front of the shoulder, arm pain, and imposes a considerable burden on the joints and nerves of the neck, upper back, shoulder and rib area.
As we repeat this posture for hours daily the front of our shoulder begins to get locked in this position. In fact, this particular posture is responsible for more than 90% of all frozen shoulder cases, and correcting the alignment of the joint is vital for a full and speedy recovery.
Why would my shoulder freeze?
The shoulder joint is notably delicate. When the muscles are overused or used incorrectly, it jeopardizes the joints, leading them to “seize up” and squeeze the essential nerves in the vicinity. Once the neck, shoulder and rib joints become locked in a misaligned position the surrounding areas go into a “fight or flight” protective mode. Nerves becomes compressed, and the muscles lose their strength and agility.
This signals a 911 to the body, causing it to lay down tissue that locks up the front of the shoulder joint.
Joint mobility must be restored through adjustments or it will prevent the affected region from healing. (This is why so many people suffer for months on end).
Once this occurs, stretches and strengthening are crucial components to keeping this area healthy and ensuring the issue doesn’t return.
So many of us are forced to sit at our desks or in cars for many hours, leaving us at risk for a reoccurrence of the issue.
It is for this reason that once the alignment of the joints is corrected and proper posture is restored, ongoing stretches are crucial to ensure that mis-aliments don’t return.
3 Steps to a Faster, Complete, Lasting recovery:
- Joint Adjustment and Realignment
Your shoulder can ‘freeze’ due to persistent alignment issues that result in locked-up joints and irritated nerves. It’s crucial to get these joints adjusted first. This action removes the ’emergency lock’ your body puts in place, and skipping this vital step is why many suffer for extended periods.
- Stretch and Strengthen
Once your joints are functioning properly, it’s time to get moving. Regular exercises and stretches help your shoulder to get strong and flexible again, so you won’t fall back into the patterns that created this issue.
- Ongoing Posture Correction
We know how busty everyone is these days. That’s why our blog is full of posture correcting ideas that take little to no extra time!
“Treating frozen shoulder by focusing only on the muscles and surrounding soft tissue is a very slow, inefficient and frustrating process.
In order to heal completely and ensure the issue doesn’t return the joints must be realigned, and posture issues must be addressed and resolved.”
Dr. Laina Shulman
Try these 2 tests to determine if you’re at risk of a frozen shoulder:
1. Raise your arms to the side (like a “T”), and then as high as they can go above your head without pain. Do you have to hike your shoulder up towards your ear on one side to get your arm up? Is one side more limited than the other?
2. See if you can put your forearm and the back of your hand on the small of your back. Can you stay in good posture to do so or do you need to slouch? Does this cause pain and tension in the front of your shoulder?
If you failed either of these tests please take action quickly. After all, it’s much easier to heal a shoulder before it’s in the process of freezing.
Try the simple stretches and exercises below to open up and strengthen the shoulder joint:
How do I fix my posture?
As mentioned, focusing on the posture that lead to this issue is an important step in ensuring it doesn’t return.
We understand that everyone’s busy these days so we’ve made it easy to correct your posture with techniques that require little to no extra time. The videos below will be a good start and if you’d like more information please click here.
Posture is an extensive topic and we’ve created an entire youtube channel to help you feel your best and address this issue.