Frozen Shoulder: Demystified

Blog post by: Dr. Derek Anderson

Frozen Shoulder is an often misunderstood and mistreated disorder which is classified as inflammation of the posterior capsule of the shoulder (adhesive capsulitis). The cause is often unknown and can seem random in nature.  This causes significant pain in the shoulder, marked reduction in range of motion and occasionally nerve pain down the arm due to the drooping of the shoulder.

This condition can be one of the most tricky and frustrating problems to treat. Typical treatments include regular therapy, stretching, release of the muscles around the shoulder, medication, steroid injections and as a last resort surgery.

Treatments for this condition usually involve myofascial release of the muscles around the shoulder and various stretching exercises. These treatments go on for months, and sometimes years. Although these treatments may be important, they seem to only give temporary results and very little progress is made.

Through my years of treating frozen shoulder, I have changed my perspective on how I treat this condition. Originally, I had treated it in a very similar way to other practitioners using passive care modalities (i.e. heat, ice, and soft tissue treatment) and my patients got very similar results.

Now, we focus treatment on what is called the “spinal accessory nerve”, which is the nerve that feeds the upper trap (muscle that connects your neck to your shoulder) and your SCM (muscle that lines the side of the neck).

By using this approach, we have drastically reduced recovery times in some patients seeing significant gains in only a handful of visits.

Are you struggling with this condition and are looking for a change? Come in for a consultation and begin a trial of care (usually 2-3 weeks) to see if our approach works for you!

Call our office at: 519-956-7331 or book an initial consult with Dr. Anderson here.

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