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Unfreezing Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

By Chris Brown

It's an increasingly common story since the pandemic hit full stride in the spring of 2020. A sudden pain starts in the shoulder, seemingly out of the blue. The pain is ignorable at first, but starts to intensify with movement and persists for days upon weeks. Eventually, the shoulder's range-of-motion becomes so limited that it is nearly immobile. This syndrome, referred to as frozen shoulder syndrome, has become a standard complaint with shoulder specialists and can last for over a year, requiring hours of painful rehabilitation to overcome.

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder syndrome, medically called adhesive capsulitis, is a condition which typically effects 2 to 5 percent of Americans. It results when the connective tissue around the shoulder inflames and thickens, limiting mobility and making attempts at movement painful. Frozen shoulder comes on slowly, starting with shoulder pain and limited mobility before stiffening to near immobility. Symptoms typically relieve on their own after 12 to 18 months. However, the period during frozen shoulder inflammation can be painful and limiting, causing permanent consequences to one's life and career.

The Recent Outbreak of Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

Shoulder specialists reported a sudden increase in frozen shoulder patients since the start of the pandemic, according to an article by the Washington Post. The theory is that this rash of frozen shoulder instances result from a combination of decreased activity during lockdown and increased body-wide inflammation in those who contracted the coronavirus. As frozen shoulder is often triggered by inflammation of the shoulder joint, it makes sense that cases increased amongst those who contracted an inflammation-inducing disease like COVID-19. For others, lifestyle and poor diet choices during lockdown could increase their likelihood of developing the condition.

Treatments for Frozen Shoulder

Like most conditions, catching the signs of frozen shoulder quickly can reduce its severity and recovery period. The trick is to reduce joint inflammation as early as possible. Inflammation can be minimized with a cortisone shot, cold compress, or over-the-counter aspirin. Once the frozen shoulder has developed past its inflammatory stage, a patient should focus attention on regaining range-of-motion. This is done through stretching, physical therapy, shoulder manipulation by a doctor under anesthetic, sterile liquid injection (to stretch the shoulder tissues), and chiropractic manipulation.

If you are experiencing frozen shoulder syndrome, visit The Joint Chiropractic to receive cost-effective chiropractic joint treatment. The doctors at The Joint are trained to incorporate the entirety of the shoulder joint's connective movement to relieve dysfunction throughout the kinetic chain. No appointments are accepted, so swing by at a moment's notice for a walk-in evaluation today.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Knoxville, Tenn.

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