Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder, is a condition that causes chronic pain and restrictions in movement for those affected. It is used to describe conditions such as “impingement syndrome” and “torn” rotator-cuff. It can wear you down by impacting sleep and making even daily activities like getting dressed painful and difficult.
NOTE- the information in this blog article does not constitute medical advice and is for reading enjoyment only. If you think you have a frozen shoulder you should go to see a doctor.
How Does a Shoulder get “Frozen”?
Frozen shoulder can be caused by injury to the shoulder joint, such as sustaining a fall, after chest or shoulder surgery, or even by chronic postural problems like “forward head”. The muscles, ligaments and tendons become inflamed and scar tissue may form in the joint leading to a restriction in the shoulder joint capsule. Some people may be more susceptible to this condition if there is an autoimmune factor involved, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
In addition, sufferers can find themselves in a viscous cycle whereby they don’t move their shoulder because it hurts and therefore their range of motion shrinks because they don’t move their shoulder.
In summary, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves can become inflamed and irritated in the shoulder joint area, scar tissue may build up in the capsule, and the range of motion can become limited and painful.
Do You Have a Frozen Shoulder?
Here is a series of simple exercises that may give you an indication as to whether you should seek a professional diagnosis from a shoulder expert (orthopedist). It would be helpful if you could look in a mirror or have someone observe you as you follow through these steps.
For the following three examples, I am depicting an issue with the right shoulder.
The side arm raise – starting with the palms facing down
Place your hands by your sides and raise them until they are over your head, palms facing outward. The bottom left image shows no issue with this movement. The image in the bottom right hand corner is typical of a frozen shoulder: notice the raising of the shoulder in an attempt to facilitate more movement, and the inability to lift the right arm above the head.
The forward raise – starting with the palms facing down
Place your hands by your thighs and raise them in front of you until they are over your head. The bottom left image shows no issue with this movement. The image in the bottom right hand corner is typical of a frozen shoulder: notice the raising of the shoulder in an attempt to facilitate more movement, and the inability to lift the right arm above the head.
The ‘gun-pull’, external rotation
Place your hands by your sides and bend your arms forward keep your elbows tight by your sides with palms facing each other. Open your palms outward. The bottom left image shows no issue with this movement. The image in the bottom right hand corner is typical of a frozen shoulder: notice the raising of the shoulder in an attempt to facilitate more movement, and the inability to completely rotate the arm.
When Will the Freeze Thaw?
“Freezing, Frozen, and Thawing” refers to the natural progression of the typical stages of a frozen shoulder. The Freezing phase is the initial stage which can be slow and very painful and lead to a limited range of motion. During the Frozen stage pain may be reduced, but the limited range of motion remains. Thawing refers to the gradual diminishment of all pain and a return to near normal levels of shoulder mobility.
This whole process can take a significant amount of time. The NHS website states:
“Frozen shoulder usually takes at least 1.5 to 2 years to get better. Sometimes it can be up to 5 years.”
However, depending on the use of an effective intervention (or lack thereof), the cycle could be much shorter or longer.
In conventional medicine it is advised to progress “conservatively” before undertaking surgery for adhesive capsulitis, which carries the risks of possible failure of the procedure itself and/or the post-operative rehabilitation program.
This means your healthcare provider will normally suggest a host of escalating interventions depending on your recovery or lack thereof. A Pre-Surgical Action Plan may typically consist of the following options:
- Starting pain medication and observing if there is any natural improvement
- Starting a course of Physiotherapy, normally with the addition of rehabilitative education and home exercises
- Corticosteroid injections
- Taking oral corticosteroid
- Hydrodilatation, whereby an injection of sterile saline and corticosteroid is used to create space in the joint
- Shoulder joint manipulation under general anesthesia in a manner that would be too painful when conscious, in an attempt to break up scar tissue and adhesions
As a last resort – arthroscopic surgery will probably be suggested, which uses a scope and micro-surgical instruments to remove scar tissue and adhesions and permit capsular release
Prevention obviously is much better than having to endure the cycle of “freezing, frozen and thawing”. This entails a daily regimen to keep moving your arms and shoulder joints in a natural fashion that includes over-head extensions.
IFA Qigong is the least invasive and best low impact prevention method that I can recommend. If you would like to know more, you can check out my free online program here.
A Conservative Treatment Alternative
In the conservative phase of treatment post-injury, it may be advisable to consider other less invasive options before opting for surgery.
As we reviewed earlier, one of the standard procedures is to put the patient under general anesthesia so that manipulation can take place to break through scar tissue in a manner that would be too painful to bear if one were conscious.
However, what if you could induce the person into a state where therapeutic, pain-free movement was possible while they were conscious?
…where one could perform beneficial mobility movements themselves whilst simultaneously triggering their own parasympathetic nervous system thus reducing inflammation?
This is exactly what we seek to achieve in an IFA intervention. No injections, no forceful physical cracking or ripping of tissues, no painful hands on manipulation and no surgery.
An IFA intervention is certainly not a claim of a miracle cure for frozen shoulder, however we believe that it is well worth considering this conservative option within the aforementioned Pre-Surgical Action Plan.
IFA is based strictly on time-tested methods that I have developed over many years based on Eastern healing, meditative, martial and philosophical practices; and has been successfully utilised for a host of complaints from mobility issues to anxiety.
TWO CASE STUDIES OF FROZEN SHOULDER
What follows are two real life examples where the IFA method was applied to a frozen shoulder problem with tremendous success. Both cases entailed an initial consultation and an at-home training regimen; and in both cases pain was eliminated, full range of motion was restored, and surgery was avoided.
One of the clients had tried physiotherapy, cortisone injections and was contemplating surgery and the other client had tried physiotherapy, cortisone injections and was BOOKED for surgery.
You can see the first case study here:
and you can see a testimonial detailing the experience of the IFA intervention here:
If you, or someone you know, is suffering from this syndrome and you would like to find out if an IFA intervention is applicable, I encourage you to message me directly through the contact form here:
https://www.infiniteflow.co.uk/contact/, and I will respond promptly.
I offer a FREE initial video consultation and treatment recommendation, with no obligation.
All the best
p.s. the FREE program which is an excellent means of prevention is here : https://infiniteflow.mykajabi.com/p/free-online-program
p.p.s. To contact me directly use this link: