Treating Shoulder problems with acupuncture and neuromuscular techniques Pt1.
Frozen shoulder – or adhesive capsulitis – gives multiple presentations, and several different underlying causes. What they have in common with each other is movement of the shoulder is very limited, cause tends to be undetermined, and treatments have not been very effective. Pain, however, is the real deciding factor. This condition tends to be painful with the pain ranging from somewhat intermittent pain to constant and intense pain.
The cause of frozen shoulder is unknown, there are multiple theories, but what is known is the capsule of the shoulder becomes inflamed restricting motion and causing pain. By the time a patient is in my office, generally multiple doctors had been seen. In the case of this condition, there is not a lot that conventional medicine can offer. The usual course of treatment may be anti-inflammatories, or physical therapy.
Treatment modalities that I tend to use in with frozen shoulder are dry needle trigger point technique. This is a muscule based technique that assists local musclulature in the shoulder to loosen, allowing greater blood flow by reducing pressure in the joint, allowing greater blood flow and a decrease in inflammation. This technique generally would be accompanied by distal needling along the channels, encouraging a reduction in inflammation.
Another technique I have used very successfully has been Kaufman’s pain elimination technique. There are multiple approaches in this system, in general they involve using neuromuscular techniques to instantly get muscles out of spasm, and various other techniques to gently encourage mobilization of the joint.
Following the application of either of these techniques, I check the range of motion (generally the improvement should be between 30-60%) and the pain should be significantly reduced. Following that, I do bodywork to encourage the muscles to set. Both have these techniques have rapidly cleared acute and chronic frozen shoulders, and given people back their lives (or at least the ability to grab cans from high shelves, and brush the tops of their heads).