Frozen Shoulder Explained!

Dr. William Choi of the Academy of Chiropractic Clinic, using the Gonstead Chiropractic method for the treatment of a patient named Andy, discusses the frozen shoulder condition and the treatment offered.

In October Andy came to their clinic complaining of lower back, neck and shoulder pain when at rest and while in movement. He was unable to move his shoulders toward any direction. The Academy of Chiropractic Clinic calls his condition as ‘frozen shoulder’ or ‘Adhesive Capsulitis’.

Further examination was carried out through Xrays. The Gonstead nervoscope, helped determine areas where pressure is on the nerve. It was discovered that Andy had suffered from a slipped disc in his lower lumbar spine, upper thoracic spine and lower cervical spine. The disc bulging causes pressure and irritation to neural structures like the spinal cord or nerve. Limited range of movement, pain and discomfort is experienced when nerves travel to the shoulder muscle and shoulder bone (capsule of the humerus).

Observations on Andy’s range of motion were made before and after chiropractic correction was given.

His range of motion in the forward and side direction was approximately 80 degrees at the beginning of treatment. He also had limited ability to move his arm behind his back. His range of motion improved by 130 degrees after the correction was administered. Bringing his arm to move behind his back became easier as well.

Dr. Choi and his team made sure to correct and stabilize areas of misalignment that enabled them to move to other areas of Andy’s spine that needed corrective care.

The Gonstead method assures a thorough check of the correct nerve pressure with the nervoscope. The post-check after every adjustment is essential to prevent other areas from inflammation and be contained in the affected areas only.

How To Avoid Getting Frozen Shoulder

Home and office exercise therapies to avoid getting frozen shoulder:

  • Active Cadman’s and wall-walking exercises

Cadman exercises are gentle exercises for restoring the range of motion and function in the arms or shoulders after Injury and immobilization of the limbs.

Performed with the unaffected part supporting one’s upper body. Person leaves affected part hanging free and allowing it to move in a pendulous fashion through the movement of the trunk without contracting the shoulders. This exercise allows three distinct patterns of moving one’s shoulders: rotation, forward and backward and side-to-side.

Wall exercises increase range of motion because it allows the person to work on the rotator cuff muscles in different directions.

Stand by a wall and at an eye-level, placed hands on the wall. Move your fingers up the wall until the highest point that you can reach, keeping your arms straight while feeling the arm muscles and shoulder joint working together. Hold for 15 seconds. Slide back down to the position started.

  • Further stretching with self-mobilisation with an emphasis on inferior glide

Similar to Cadman’s exercise, but first place your hands on the wall above the head then slide down.

  • Passive stretching

This is an exercise may be done in the doctor’s office. It requires for another person or an outside force to produce movement to a part.

  • “Giant” ball exercise and wand exercise for later stage of stretching

For low impact strength building, pieces of equipment are utilised

  • Sleep on unaffected side with pillow support on affected side to avoid excessive internal rotation

Further irritation is caused on the inflamed capsule of the shoulder when sleeping on the affected side. Lying on the affected side causes the shoulder to weaken more and loses support and in effect will result to more harm.

For more information contact Dr William Choi
Tel:  6438 5051

30 Merchant Road #02-27, Riverside Point, Singapore 058282