Frozen Shoulder Syndrome Improves With Chiropractic Care
98% of patients studied with Frozen Shoulder Syndrome (Adhesive Capsulitis) responded positively
A report on the scientific literature
By Mark Studin, DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
Michael Schonfeld, DC, DABCO
Frozen shoulder syndrome (FSS) is a common condition presenting to a variety of health care practitioners including chiropractors, osteopaths, medical doctors, and physical therapists. Also referred to as adhesive capsulitis, FSS remains one of the most poorly understood shoulder conditions, with its cause most of the time, unknown. Recently, a consensus definition of FSS was reached by the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons to be a condition characterized by functional restriction of both active (while moving) and passive (while still) shoulder motion for which x-rays of the shoulder are usually negative. It occurs usually between 40 and 60 years of age, is 3 to 7 times more prevalent in women than men and it is characterized by sudden onset, night pain along with a painful restriction of numerous motions of the shoulder. Common traditional medical treatments include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injection, and shoulder surgery.
The purpose of this study was to describe the treatment and outcomes of a series of patients presenting with frozen shoulder syndrome who received a chiropractic approach (OTZ Tension Adjustment) which was mostly neck and midback adjustments.
The files of 50 consecutive patients who presented to a private chiropractic practice with frozen shoulder syndrome were reviewed. Two primary outcomes were extracted from the files for initial examination and at final evaluation: (1) the 11-point numeric pain rating scale and (2) the percentage change in shoulder abduction (ability to raise their arm from their side as far as they could go). Each patient received a series of chiropractic manipulative procedures that focused on the cervical (neck) and thoracic (mid back) spine.
Of the case files reviewed, 20 were male and 30 were female; and all were between the ages of 40 and 70 years. The average number of days under care was 28 days (range, 11 to 51 days). The median change in Numeric Pain Rating Scale score was −7 (range, 0 to −10). Of the 50 cases, 16 resolved completely (100% improvement), 25 showed 75% to 90% improvement, 8 showed 50% to 75% improvement, and 1 showed 0% to 50% improvement.
Conclusion: 98% of patients treated with frozen shoulder syndrome were reported to have improved with chiropractic care.
Murphy F., Hal, M., D'Amico L., Jensen A., (2012) Chiropractic management of frozen should syndrome using a novel technique: a retrospective case series of 50 patients, Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 11, 267-272