What if one day you woke up and you weren’t able to lift your arm above your head? No matter how hard you tried, it just won’t move.
And to make matters worse, your shoulder is swollen and you’re in a lot of pain.
These are just a few of many symptoms of a condition commonly known as Frozen Shoulder. As the medical folk like to call it — Adhesive Capsulitis. (See, that’s why most people prefer to just say ‘frozen shoulder’!)
Frozen Shoulder is a condition in which the shoulder joint experiences an extremely limited range of motion. In some severe cases, an individual with the condition will have difficulty performing basic daily tasks like getting dressed or brushing their teeth.
What is the cause of Frozen Shoulder?
The main cause of Frozen Shoulder is inflammation directly in the shoulder joint. The joint can become inflamed after an injury, illness or even chest or breast surgery.
Although Frozen Shoulder can happen to anyone, it is most common among middle-aged women and those with Diabetes or arthritis.
And now for some good news (‘cause we don’t get enough of that these days)…
Frozen Shoulder can be treated – and HERE’S HOW:
You can start by relieving the pain with an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication right away… This will reduce the pain at least temporarily so that you can go about your daily life.
However, the number #1 factor in treating Frozen Shoulder is movement. I know that may seem counterintuitive, but you’ve gotta keep that shoulder moving so it doesn’t “freeze up” anymore!
But, you may be wondering how you’re going to actually get your currently “frozen” shoulder to move. Well, this is where I come in – or any well-trained Bodyworker in your area 😉
Here’s what a Bodyworker does during treatment for Frozen Shoulder
In order to get that shoulder moving again, it’s essential to remove the barriers that put you in this situation in the first place. There is often scar tissue and adhesions (or knots) in and around the shoulder joint that is contributing to your limited movement.
A Bodyworker’s job is to manually break up those tissues and knots using special remedial massage techniques and incorporating Structural Integration if they’re trained in this advanced type of bodywork.
In addition to the regular massage and bodywork, I would assign you some “homework” to speed up the recovery process. Nothing too complicated though – just a few simple stretches, that when done regularly between our visits, this will keep that shoulder joint in motion.
How long does it take for Frozen Shoulder to get better?
Treatment length can vary from patient to patient. I have found that full recovery can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. This is dependent on the severity of the condition, how aggressively we treat it and how diligent you are about your homework 😉
While every case of Frozen Shoulder may require a personalised treatment, here are a couple of exercises that I recommend for you to get started on right away.
It’s important to note that in the beginning, it may feel like you have zero range of motion when performing these stretches.
But don’t give up! Consistency is key and the more you keep your shoulder moving (even if it’s not much), the quicker you’ll recover.
→ Holding a towel on the “unaffected” side, bring your arm over your head so the towel is hanging behind you.
→ Then grab the other end of the towel behind your back with your other hand.
→ Use your good arm to pull up slightly allowing the affected side to feel a bit of a stretch.
→ Do this exercise for 30 seconds and repeat for 2-3 sets.
→ Hinging forward from the hips, let your arm hang down naturally.
→ Begin to make small circles in one direction for about 10 repetitions.
→ Then switch directions for another 10 repetitions.
→ Perform this exercise at least once per day.
Once you start seeing improvement, you can increase the range of your movement making a larger circle.
Crossbody Shoulder Stretch
→ Pick up your affected arm and bring it across your chest.
→ Grasp onto the upper arm with your other hand.
→ Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
→ Repeat this 2-3 times.
While most cases of Frozen Shoulder are treatable, there are some extreme cases that may require surgery.
If you’ve been seeking regular treatment already AND you’ve been extremely diligent with your home care exercises and have not seen improvement after 6 months, it may be time to see a Medical Practitioner.
If you think you’re dealing with a Frozen Shoulder, don’t waste any time living in discomfort.
Book an appointment with a trained Bodyworker to get started on your treatment as soon as possible.
Get back to living your life sooner, rather than later.