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  • Dr. Robert Nilles

How to Thaw Out Frozen Shoulder

Because of its vast range of mobility, the shoulder is one of the most used joints in the human body. It allows us to reach over our heads, behind our backs, across our bodies, and much more. With this kind of mobility, we are able to reach for something on a higher shelf, grasp something behind our backs, swing a golf club or baseball bat, and perform other activities requiring this joint. When this joint becomes too stiff to move efficiently, we become concerned with what caused the pain. In this case, how a patient develops a frozen shoulder.



Adhesive capsulitis – also known as frozen shoulder – occurs when there is stiffness and pain in the shoulder. The bones, tendons and ligaments located in this joint are surrounded by connective tissues. When these tissues thicken, they tighten up the shoulder joint, making it difficult to use. Scar tissue tends to form as well, limiting the joint’s range of motion further. Other signs of frozen shoulder develop gradually, worsening over time before resolving.


When a patient suffers from frozen shoulder, they will experience three stages:

- Freezing: The first stage. Patients will develop pain in the shoulder whenever moving the joint. This pain will gradually worsen, sometimes hurting more at night, and it will limit how far a patient can move the joint. This stage can last from 6-9 months.

- Frozen: At this stage, moving the shoulder may be quite difficult to do, making it harder to perform daily activities and tasks. Lasting anywhere from 4 months to a year, the pain in the joint may improve, but the stiffness doesn’t.

- Thawing: The final stage. Taking anywhere from 6 months to a couple of years, the shoulder’s range of motion begins to improve, allowing patients to perform daily tasks with more ease.


Regarding as to what causes frozen shoulder, there is no clear answer. Frozen shoulder cases have appeared more often in women than men, in people ages 40-60, and in people who have had prolonged immobility of the shoulder prior to this condition. In addition, certain conditions such as diabetes, thyroid complications, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease may increase the risk of developing frozen shoulder. Similar to other shoulder pain cases, frozen shoulder can be identified with pain and stiffness in the joint, making it difficult to move. Patients may feel pain wrapping around their arm, even into the upper arm. This pain can worsen at night, making it difficult to sleep well.


At Diamond Chiropractic, we are able to identify what could be causing frozen shoulder. With gentle spinal and shoulder manipulation, along with needless acupuncture, patients can begin recovering from this condition, without needing to undergo some form of surgery or steroid injection. Electric muscle stimulation (EMS) is another technique used by chiropractors, restarting the muscles to contract and release to allow blood flow into the joint. In addition, with physical therapy/ exercises, patients will witness a gradual increase in mobility. Soon, someone suffering from frozen shoulder will be able to move their shoulder and perform daily activities again; this time, without stiffness and pain in the joint.


If you, or a loved one, are suffering from frozen shoulder, contact Diamond Chiropractic! Get relief from frozen shoulder FAST and NOW.

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