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Frozen Shoulder

Summary

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a myofascial condition that affects the shoulder joint capsule. The bones, ligaments and tendons are all wrapped in dense connective tissue known as fascia. When the fascia gets too thick or dense, frozen shoulder symptoms can start to appear. Symptoms include joint stiffness and pain. These symptoms start small but will increase over time until the joint starts to feel “frozen” in place. The symptoms come in three stages.

 

Stage 1: Freezing Stage – any movement becomes painful, your body will start to reduce the range of motion to protect the joint capsule. Pain may increase at night and even disrupt sleep.

Stage 2: Frozen Stage – pain diminishes in this stage due to the joint stiffening up. Strength and mobility decrease or become stagnant.

Stage 3: Thawing stage – range of motion in shoulder begins to improve. Thawing can happen over time but is most effective when aided by physiotherapy to break up adhesive tissue and free the fascia that is binding up the joint. Range of motion may be limited even after thawing.

 

Cause

Though doctors can’t pinpoint the exact cause of frozen shoulder, they have noticed some common risk factors that can be potential contributors to frozen shoulder. Risk factors include but are not limited to age, sex, immobility and some systemic diseases.

  1. Age: people over the age of 40 are more at risk
  2. Sex: women are more likely to develop frozen shoulder than men
  3. Immobility: lack of use from injury or trauma can cause tissue build up and even muscle atrophy in the shoulder
  4. Systemic diseases: Patients with diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, cardiovascular conditions, tuberculosis and parkinson’s have a higher chance of developing frozen shoulder.

Effects

Treatment

Common treatment approaches include pain management and preserving range of motion as much as possible. Prescription drugs or anti inflammatories are commonly taken to reduce pain and inflammation in the joint. Physical therapists will teach you exercises to increase strength and mobility. Most cases of frozen shoulder can resolve themselves within 12 to 18 months. 

For those who have persistent problems or simple don’t want to wait for it to resolve itself often look into other options to promote recovery. These include injections, surgery and alternative therapies like massage, acupuncture or using a TENS unit.

 

Structura’s approach

At Structura we practice structural physiotherapy or structural integration as a means to not only mitigate pain but to increase range of motion in the joint capsule. We start by observing deviations in the structural integrity of the shoulder. Is it being pulled on by the back or maybe even the hips? How is the neck reacting to the shoulder being frozen? Through these evaluations we start to understand the full story of how the shoulder became frozen in the first place. We will evaluate your range of motion in the shoulder but will also look at the neck, thoracic spine and even down into the pelvis to check all possible contributors to the shoulder. 

The second step is to create a treatment plan, anywhere from three to five sessions to get you started on the path to recovery. Depending on the severity of the frozen shoulder and clients active participation in the treatment plan it can take more than five sessions to fully treat the shoulder and other affected areas. 

The physiotherapy treatments are designed to break down fascia restrictions by lengthening and strengthening tissue. We use a variety of tools to promote our work and increase our results. We use instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) tools to scan and prepare the superficial tissue to allow for more effective manual therapy with our hands, knuckles, fists and elbows. We also use cupping as a means of decompressing dense tissue. These can be applied to several key points on the shoulder and arm to break up tissue. Compression bands can also be used to reduce pain and increase range of motion. 

We understand that the treatments by themselves can only go so far. At home self care is also important to ensure the complete treatment of the frozen shoulder. Receiving our postural alignment therapy that designs an exercise plan for each individual to treat them structurally as a whole, to ensure that not only is the physiotherapy maximizing its efficiency but that the client is receiving all the tools to keep frozen shoulder from returning. 

Pamela from Utah Testimonial

I was afraid to try Structura because I heard the therapy might be painful. But it was going into months and months with plantar fasciitis and not being able to walk without limping and waddling. That was painful too. Through the therapy sessions, I found that I was twisted and seized up all over. I’m not sure when the fasciitis actually completely healed, but it did 100%. The therapy was a little painful, but nothing like the pain of months of fasciitis and years of waddling. At 58 years old, I can finally move my legs again so I can walk normally and start exercising.

Jeannie from Clearfield, UT Testimonial

I am a 62 year old female. For several years, I have become less flexible and stiff. I was introduced to Structura and finished the 10 weekly sessions of Structural Integration. They are very professional and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend Structura Body Therapies’ therapy.

Tiffany from West Valley, UT Testimonial

I was having some lower back pain and and they’re deep tissue massage helped me feel better. The therapist was really nice and I felt amazing after the 60-minute session. I would highly recommend anyone with back pain to go to them. -Tiffany

Lisa from Layton, UT Testimonial

I felt so good after each of the 10 sessions of Structural Integration. Parts of my body that bothered me before the session felt so much better after being worked on. My knees that hurt before, didn’t bother me after being worked on.

Kaylee from North Ogden, UT Testimonial

I was experiencing a lot of knee pain after having surgery for a torn ACL. Months of physical therapy and a 2nd knee surgery didn’t help the pain and issues I was having. I was ready to just live with the pain but I decided to give Structura’s therapy a try. It has helped my knee tremendously! My knee pain is gone and my range of motion is back! So happy I found this therapy! If you are experiencing pain that your doctors can’t figure out, I would highly recommend Structura’s therapy!

J. Sanchez from Clearfield, UT Testimonial

I was introduced to Structura Body Therapies by a family member.  I have suffered from chronic pain for the past 9 years and the source of the pain was finally diagnosed. I started coming to Structura to see how their therapies could help me before, between, and after the two hip surgeries I would need to correct the source of my pain. I cannot express enough how pleased I am with the results of the therapy thus far!  I recently had the first surgery and the therapies from Structura Body Therapies have cut my healing time by 4 weeks! I am looking very forward to completing my next surgery and then starting the Structural Integration program with Structura.

Debra Testimonial

The people are friendly, and make you feel at ease. They are very professional, and I saw results fast. I am thankful that there is hope to take away my pain, which I have lived with for so long. I would highly recommend Structura to anyone.

Jon from Ogden Utah Testimonial

Working with Structura Body Therapies has been a life-changing experience. They are not only extremely skilled in their practice, but are very educational. I noticed a big difference after the first visit

John
Ogden, UT

Annie from Layton, UT Testimonial

I’ve been able to get my life back thanks to the therapists at Structura. Taylor and Skye were amazing at listening and critically thinking. They were both very professional. I had dealt with 1.5 years of debilitating pain in my lower back and shooting pain down my legs. After physical therapy, multiple steroid shots, and mediations to deal with the pain I heard about Structura. Thanks to these amazing people I can sleep through the night, enjoy activities I love, and play with my kids. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing more than a relaxing massage.

Kellie from Hooper, UT Testimonial

I am running again! Less than a year ago, I had a doctor, physical therapist, and a chiropractor all tell me I needed to stop running because of constant back and neck pain, along with ankle and groin injuries. Well, they were wrong! Because of Stuctura Body Therapies, in the last 2 months, I have ran a half marathon, a 5K, and I am continuing to run 3 times a week. The 10-week Structural Integration program, and continued maintenance, have been a true blessing for me. The therapists and staff at Structura are the best, and are professional and caring. So grateful to have found this amazing technique.

Jessica from Ogden, UT Testimonial

Structura has truly helped me so much! It was a long road to recovery, but I skipped the surgeries and was able to naturally heal over time. I continue to go on a regular basis for maintenance now. This is an amazing way to stay in top performance and learn about mobility and movement.

Nick from Kaysville, UT Testimonial

 

I was in a car accident and hurt my neck and low back. I came into Structura Body Therapies and they helped me get rid of the pain I was having. I would recommend to anyone that has been in an accident to come in and get some bodywork done from Structura!

Susan from Neveda Testimonial

I was in a car accident and hurt my neck and low back. I came into Structura Body Therapies and they helped me get rid of the pain I was having. I would recommend to anyone that has been in an accident to come in and get some bodywork done from Structura!

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