A Frozen Shoulder is a common and debilitating condition. It can affect 2-5% of the population. The onset can be triggered by an injury, or something as minor as reaching over to turn off an alarm clock or to retrieve something from the backseat of the car.
If it affects the biceps tendon (in the front of the upper arm), the pain can initially be felt as a ‘catch’ or ‘pinch’ in this area.
Frozen shoulder is defined as "a stiff shoulder with less than 50% of normal range of active and passive motion in any direction". This means that you are unable to raise your hand in the air, even if someone assists you. Hence the term ‘Frozen’.
In a Frozen Shoulder the capsule of the shoulder can sometimes form adhesions due to inflammation, this often begins in the region of the tendon of the biceps, but can spread to the rest of the shoulder through the interconnected capsular out-pouchings called ‘bursae’.
The inflammation can spread through the rest of the soft tissues of the shoulder, affecting ligaments and muscles. This can then cause an ‘over-reaction’ by the body leading to loss of power and co-ordination within the shoulder muscles. The most common muscles affected are called the rotator cuff, which normally act to stabilise and rotate the shoulder.
Frozen Shoulder can last up to 30 months if left untreated, but the many cases can be effectively treated with conservative (hands-on) treatment. Frozen Shoulder has been proven to respond well to a combination of manual therapy and exercises.
Manual therapy can never provide a 'quick fix', but it can help reduce the pain, speed recovery and encourage the return to a fuller range of movement.
Risk Factors for Frozen Shoulder:
- Male: Female - Male 40% Female 60%
- Ageing - In Japan frozen shoulder syndrome is called "Fifties Shoulder".
- Posture - Especially round-shouldered or slumping postures
- Diabetes - Types I and II
- Trauma - Fractures of the collar bone or arm, but sometimes the trauma can be quite mild.
- Surgery - Especially after shoulder surgery, or mastectomy with breast reconstruction
- Familial - Can run in the family
- Dupytren's - More common in those who have Dupytren’s contracture of the hand
- Shoulder-intensive sports or manual occupations
Jane O’Connor is registered as a Niel-Asher Technique practitioner.
For more information about Frozen Shoulder and the Niel-Asher Technique please follow the link: - www.frozenshoulder.com/the_niel_asher_technique.php
For details about the clinical trial results for the Niel-Asher Technique:- http://www.frozenshoulder.com/clinical-trial.php