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Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is a disorder characterized by pain and loss of motion or stiffness in the shoulder.

It affects about two percent of the general population. It is more common in women between the ages of 40 years to 70 years old. The process involves thickening and contracture of the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint.


Pain due to frozen shoulder is usually dull or aching. It can be worsened with attempted motion. The pain is usually located over the outer shoulder area and sometimes the upper arm. The hallmark of the disorder is restricted motion or stiffness in the shoulder. The affected individual cannot move the shoulder normally. Motion is also limited when someone else attempts to move the shoulder for the patient. Some physicians have described the normal course of a frozen shoulder as having three stages:

  • Stage one: In the "freezing" stage, which may last from six weeks to nine months, the patient develops a slow onset of pain. As the pain worsens, the shoulder loses motion.
  • Stage two: The "frozen" stage is marked by a slow improvement in pain, but the stiffness remains. This stage generally lasts four months to nine months.
  • Stage three: The final stage is the "thawing", during which shoulder motion slowly returns toward normal. This generally lasts five months to 26 months.

What Causes Frozen Shoulder?

The most common causes of frozen shoulders are:

  • Hyperthyroidism (excessive production of thyroid hormones)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart/ circulatory diseases
  • A fracture or other arm injury
  • Shoulder injury/ surgery
  • Cervical disk disease
  • Degenerative arthritis

While these common causes seem quite different, they all lead to any of the following two fundamental causes of frozen shoulder:

  • High density of impurities in the blood. The accumulation of impurities can settle near the shoulder joints, muscle joints, and the belt of muscles and block the normal blood circulation in these areas, which in turn can lead to shoulder pain and loss of motion in the shoulder joint. Common causes such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and heart/ circulatory diseases can all lead to such a high density of impurities in the blood.
  • Inflammation in the shoulder joint capsule. The capsule of a shoulder joint includes the ligaments that attach the shoulder bones to each other. When inflammation occurs within the capsule, there is less ability for the shoulder bones to freely move within the joint. For this reason a frozen shoulder is also called an adhesive (scarred) capsulitis (inflamed joint capsule). Common causes such as a fracture or other arm injury, shoulder injury/ surgery, cervical disk disease, and degenerative arthritis can all lead to inflammation in the shoulder joint capsule.

Medical Massage Treatment

You may have Frozen Shoulder because of musculoskeletal imbalance in your upper back. Massage therapy is applied to balance your neck, shoulders and arms muscles.

Once the body is balanced, the patient is able to restore an efficient way for energy to move. Free energy is used by the body to work more efficiently and improves all physiological activities.

On the first visit the therapist evaluates the patient by screening gait patterns and measuring the positioning of the body to determine musculoskeletal distortion, biomechanical dysfunction and soft tissue pathology that causes these patterns. An exacting analysis of proper posture and biomechanics explains the cause and effect relationship to pain. Once we know how your body works, we can determine the reason why you have pain and the other symptoms.

Then the therapist develops a treatment plan that is based on the knowledge of your body. We don’t guess, we know how to treat you because of exact analysis of your body and understanding of your problem. Your therapeutic massage treatment is custom designed for you because we apply pressure and specific techniques that are unique only for your body. That’s why our massage treatment for your Frozen Shoulder in Holistic Medical Massage Clinic is effective and different from others.


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