Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

One of the most torturing pain syndromes that one could experience is frozen shoulder syndrome. Characterized by stiffness, pain, and limited range of motion in the shoulder, this condition can persist for months or even years. And while there are several treatment options available to manage this syndrome, chiropractic care is emerging as the most effective one that does not entail side effects. And if you’re not familiar with the method, fret not as we’ll be discussing just that and how you can fight frozen shoulders with chiropractic treatment!

What Is Frozen Shoulder Syndrome?

Frozen shoulder syndrome (FSS), known as adhesive capsulitis, is one of those conditions that can cause you sleepless nights. Apart from bringing excruciating pain, it restricts a person from performing even the simplest of tasks that involve the shoulders. Symptoms of this condition start from mild to severe and usually last from one to three years. 

The treatments of the frozen shoulder syndrome include stretching or medication and steroid injections. Sadly, these treatments are only temporary and don’t last long for patients. This is why people are starting to discover chiropractic care as a better and more permanent solution to this condition.

Chiropractic for Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

Chiropractic procedure is proven effective in treating frozen shoulder syndrome. However, patients should first seek the advice of their health practitioners for proper diagnosis before pursuing the treatment. The diagnosis will determine if the patients have an underlying health condition that may not be appropriate for chiropractic procedure. Nonetheless, chiropractors also use an x-ray machine or other diagnostic devices to assess patients properly before performing the actual treatment.

Does Chiropractic Really Help?

A case study conducted in 2012 has shown promising results in using chiropractic treatment for FSS.

The study involved 30 women and 20 men suffering from frozen shoulder syndrome. All subjects sought treatment for a period ranging from 11 to 51 days, with a median of 28 days. Out of the 50 cases:

  • 16 resolved completely
  • 25 were 75% to 90% improved
  • 8 were 50% to 75% improved
  • 1 was 0% to 50% improved

How Chiropractic Fights FSS

Chiropractic treatment plays a significant role in alleviating the pain, improving the range of motion of the shoulder, and fast healing. The procedure does all of these through the manipulation of the joints, especially those that surround the affected area. However, the treatment and its period may not be the same for everyone. It ultimately depends on the present symptoms, how far are its progress and how long the patient has been in this state.

The Niel Asher Technique is a typical chiropractic method in treating frozen shoulder syndrome that entails manipulating the joints and muscle tissues. The chiropractor applies pressure to key points and stretches them to help relieve pain and solve the condition. For people suffering from FSS, this is a painless procedure and relatively fast compared to other treatments.

Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

Now that we know how we can fight it, it’s still best to be aware of its onset. When you suffer from frozen shoulder syndrome, you’ll likely feel symptoms like pain in one of your shoulders, and difficulty in moving it. When this occurs, you are likely to experience the three stages of frozen shoulder syndrome.

Freezing Stage

The freezing stage is when there’s a limitation on all shoulder movements. This may be caused by prolonged immobilization, dislocation, recent minor trauma, neck problems, and heart attack. Besides limited motion, the following may also occur:

  • Pain that develops in the shoulder whenever there is movement.
  • The gradual escalation of the pain over time, especially at night.

If not given attention, you may experience these symptoms for six to nine months.

Frozen Stage 

This stage is when the joint’s fluid thickens. Hence, the pain gets acute, and all movements are limited. In addition, some may experience the following:

  • Not being able to do menial tasks that involve the shoulders.
  • Possible disappearance of the stiffness escalating through the pain.

For most cases, the frozen stage may last longer than the previous one, from 4 to 12 months.

Thawing Stage

The thawing stage is when the frozen shoulder begins to loosen up. As the pain diminishes, so is the inflammation, and moving the affected shoulder comes back gradually. However, the recovery may or may not be 100% if it’s left unattended. This stage usually takes up from 6 months to 2 years. 

Fighting FSS Early

Early diagnosis of frozen shoulder syndrome helps treat it and prevent the situation from getting worse. Because once it reaches the adhesive or frozen stage, the treatment may take longer and even encounter some prohibitions.

Typically, addressing the frozen shoulder syndrome right away takes six months to recover. However, neglecting the situation may extend its recuperating period from 12 months to 2 years. That’s why examining the shoulders for early, and correct diagnosis and treatment plays a significant role in avoiding experiencing frozen shoulder syndrome.

Causes of Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

Knowing the reasons behind the pain in your shoulder is crucial to determine the proper care to apply. Some of the causes of frozen shoulder syndrome include:


Bursas are the fluid-filled sacs that surround the particular joint of the body. They are responsible for preventing excessive friction between the bony surfaces and tissues. Meanwhile, the subdeltoid bursa which lies beneath the deltoid muscles makes the rounded shape of the arm or shoulder. 

Bursitis happens when these bursas are pinched or inflamed. This, in turn, produces torturing pain and restricts movements in the shoulder, leading to light swelling sensation and heat production.  

Referred Pain from the Neck

Referred pain from the neck is among the concurring shoulder pain causes discovered in chiropractic treatment. Spraining, inflaming, and irritating the neck trigger muscle spasm, affecting the muscles with the same nerve supply connecting to the injured level. Though it’s a less common condition, pressure may arise on the nerve fibers’ surroundings. 

Rotator Cuff Tendinitis or Tear

The rotator cuff muscles consist of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres minor muscles which is responsible for shoulder motion. Suppose the rotator cuff tendon becomes torn or inflamed (tendonitis). In that case, disorientation of the voluntary abduction, elevation, and shoulder rotation may happen since the rotator cuff tendon becomes a source of pain and disability.

Solving from the Root

With the help of chiropractic treatment, these causes of frozen shoulder syndrome can be addressed and managed accordingly. Aside from making spinal adjustments, chiropractors can provide massage therapy and stretching exercises which are essential for restoring mobility and reducing inflammation. They also tailor the whole treatment according to your lifestyle and limitations, making it easier for you to adjust. And most importantly, chiropractors can give you proper guidelines on how to keep not just your shoulder, but your holistic wellness in excellent condition.

Other Causes of Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

Frozen shoulder syndrome is more common in women than men, mainly when the age ranges from 40 to 60. Moreover, recuperating from health conditions such as stroke or surgery like a mastectomy may increase the risk of having the condition since it prevents the arms from motion. 

Apart from that and the causes mentioned above, FSS can also be brought about by any of the following:

  • Natural wear and tear and shoulder joint arthritis that produce pain in the shoulder.
  • Gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis) that brings pain to the right shoulder.
  • Heart attacks that cause pain to the left shoulder and arm.

Other Treatments for Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

The preservation of the joint’s range of motion and reducing the pain should be the focus when treating frozen shoulder syndrome. This is why chiropractic is a good solution that helps people manage this condition. However, most people may seek short-term solutions during its onset. The first line of defense for the pain is usually over-the-counter medicines such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen since they can often alleviate the symptoms of the syndrome.

Nonetheless, it’s still important to find the treatment that would best suit you for longer-lasting relief. Some of the available ones apart from chiropractic are the following:

Corticosteroid Injection

This is when corticosteroids are injected directly into the shoulder joint to lessen the pain and boost movements.

Shoulder Manipulation

This treatment helps loosen up the shoulder tissue and is done while the patient is under general anesthesia. 

Joint Distension

Joint distention boosts the range of motion after the doctor injects the sterile water into the joint capsule to stretch the tissue.

Physical Therapy

A physical therapist helps the patient to improve the range of motion through stretching and strengthening exercises. 


If all else fails, surgery is the last option for treating frozen shoulder syndrome. A doctor will conduct the surgery known as an arthroscopic procedure wherein lighted, pencil-sized tools penetrate through the tiny cuts in the shoulder. Unlike chiropractic, this treatment can be more invasive and entail a longer recovery period.

Fight FSS Now

Preventing a frozen shoulder syndrome as early as possible helps resolve the issue right away. It also lets you free from prolonged torture and discomfort that can hamper your everyday life. And if you want to take action now, chiropractic care is an excellent option you must consider. Just like how it cures neck pain, lower back pain, and knee problems, chiropractic can bring long-term relief to your shoulder and help you resume your normal activities in no time!

Looking for a chiropractor in El Paso, Texas? Drop by at El Paso West Texas Chiropractic Center. Our friendly and approachable staff will welcome you with a smile and attend to your every concern!


Thanks a lot for spending the time to read Chiropractic Treatment Alleviates Frozen Shoulder Syndrome. If you still have queries after reading this article, feel free to reach us on our page.

El Paso West Texas Chiropractic Center

907 Chelsea St. Ste. E,
El Paso, TX 79903
Phone: (915) 562-5700

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