Frozen Shoulder Myotherapy

What is frozen shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is the common name for adhesive capsulitis, which is a shoulder condition that limits your range of motion. When the tissues in your shoulder joint become thicker and tighter, scar tissue develops over time. As a result, your shoulder joint doesn’t have enough space to rotate properly. Common symptoms include swelling, pain, and stiffness in the rotator cuff especially the muscle supraspinatus (apart of the rotator cuff).

Bad habits?

A client I have been treating for a month with frozen shoulder in his left shoulder, with poor range of motion in shoulder movements, said to me yesterday “I can actually move my shoulder now”. I was humbled by his words, as what I did in my treatment and advice, given to improve everyday bad habits such as sleeping on your back really made a difference.

  1. Sleeping on your back helps keep everything muscular and structurally (scapulas) neutral.

  2. Repetitive movements, doing simple everyday movements can aggravate the shoulder joint and tighten the rotator cuff muscle group.

  3. Disuse of the shoulders or the rotator cuff muscle group not firing as a group correctly can cause muscular imbalances.

  4. Poor posture, rounded shoulders putting pressure on the shoulder joint.

Treatment and corrective exercises

Treatment was obviously focusing around the rotator cuffs and releasing tension to take pressure off the shoulder joint.

  1. A lot of deep tissue, trigger point work through the rotator cuffs, pectorals, rhomboids and scalenes.

  2. Dry needling around Supraspinatus, upper traps, infrasprinatus, rhomboids, biceiptial tendon.

  3. Static and dynamic cupping in the rotator cuff, upper trapezius and scapula moblisation.

Exercises given were to sleep on the back to break the number one bad habit and applying heat via wheat bag or hot bath to keep the muscles relaxed and warm. Serratus anterior (scapula stablizer) stregthen/activation exercise – Finger wall crawl, where you go close to a wall and crawl up the wall with your fingers nice and slow to feel the activation of the serratus muscle (5 repetitions – 3 sets a day). The last exercise given was to stretch out the pectorals and encourage that good posture and reverse the bad.

“You don’t have to be an athlete to get athlete type of injuries.” Wise quote from a mentor and good friend of mine. Developing the awareness to avoid bad habits will make a significant change to your life.

Alexi Pilipasidis – Myotherapist.