Chiropractic Care For Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder can be improved using care from your chiropractor. Dr. Troy Dreiling has successfully cared for patients with this ailment for over 20 years. Call usto schedule a free consultation. Office located in Vancouver, Washington.

Video Transcription

Dr. Troy here, Zenaptic Chiropractic.

I want to discuss frozen shoulder. I see a lot of cases of frozen shoulder; people who sit at a desk and develop this forward head posture which puts pressure on the nerves that innervate and control the shoulder.

The lower neck which is the most vulnerable area neurologically, that will interfere with the flow of nerve function to the shoulder which won’t allow you to properly elevate your shoulder. We also see it in trauma; that’s what got me into chiropractic, I had a football injury. I couldn’t use my shoulder, a chiropractor fixed me up when I was 16 and I said, hey, I can do that. I am very confident I can help shoulder issues if in fact there is a misalignment of the vertebra.

The spine, there are seven bones in the neck. If they’re in alignment these nerves will communicate with the muscles and tissues in the shoulder. If they get out of alignment through trauma, toxins, your thought, they can put pressure on those nerves and that will affect shoulder function.

I do a free consultation to see if chiropractic is right for you. I would be happy to take a look and see if we can help. Come meet us at the office.

This is Dr. Troy at Zenaptic Chiropractic.

More Information on Frozen Shoulder And Chiropractic Care

woman with pain from frozen shoulderFrozen shoulder, the common name for adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that causes a person’s shoulder to feel “frozen.” It creates feelings of not only pain but stiffness upon movement of the shoulder. It is a disease that occurs more commonly in women and affects up to 2 percent of the population.

The area of the shoulder that is affected is called the shoulder capsule and is the connective tissue that covers the upper arm bone. During a frozen shoulder episode, the tissue in the capsule becomes thick and tight and adhesions form in the area.

Sometimes there is a decrease in the amount of fluid that helps the joint to move, as well. Typically, patients experience the inability to move their shoulder at all, even with help. The condition can last for several years and even upon resolution of the issue in one shoulder, can begin to affect the opposing shoulder.

The Stages of Frozen Shoulder

There are three stages that occur during a frozen shoulder injury:

  1. Freezing – This is the initial stage and may occur gradually or drastically. You will begin to feel some pain in your shoulder that worsens with time. The tougher the pain gets, the more range of motion that is lost in the shoulder. This period can last up to 9 months.
  2. Frozen – During the frozen stage, the pain may begin to diminish, but the inability to move the arm remains. This is when the stiffness really kicks in. This stage lasts up to 6 months and often makes it difficult to do any activity that involves moving the arm.
  3. Thawing – This is when the thickness starts to dissipate slowly. You may start to have a larger range of motion with each passing day. The entire thawing period is typically resolved within 2 years.

How Chiropractic Can Help

Chiropractic care for frozen shoulder can help in many ways:

  • Prevention
  • Treatment of the condition
  • Improve neck and shoulder ranges of motion
  • Correct biomechanical imbalances
  • Reduction of forward head posture which locks up shoulder function

The ideal scenario is to prevent frozen shoulder from occurring in the first place. This is done successfully with a chiropractor as a healthy lifestyle and proper alignment is maintained with regular visits.

Healthy consumption of foods and proper exercises are often encouraged in order to promote overall health and prevent issues such as diabetes and heart disease, each of which can create mobility problems, such as frozen shoulder.

This disorder is often a result of other health issues, including diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and hyperthyroidism. It is also a common occurrence after injury (auto collisions or falls) or surgery that involves immobilization of the arm.

Chiropractic care can help to address each of these issues, minimizing the risk of frozen shoulder from occurring. Sometimes, just the act of keeping the head and neck in alignment is enough to prevent this issue from occurring.

Other Treatments Used By Your Chiropractor

If frozen shoulder does occur, chiropractic care is a successful and natural way to treat it. The most common method used in chiropractic care is specific spinal adjustments.

In addition, the three techniques below may be used to treat your shoulder pain.

TENS Treatment. Sometimes electrical stimulation may be used. This treatment (known as TENS) sends electrical currents to the nerve paths through the use of electrodes that are placed on the skin.

The electrical stimulation is thought to help the release of endorphins (the feel-good hormone), which helps to minimize the amount of pain that is felt in the area. It also allows the patient to have minimal pain and more range of motion, which allows for proper exercises to be administered that help to increase the flexibility of the shoulder over time.

TENS treatment is used in the place of steroids, anti-inflammatory medications, and pain medications that are often prescribed to help deal with the pain of frozen shoulder. While these medicinal methods might be successful at eliminating the pain, they do not address the reason that the disorder has occurred in the first place, which means the pain comes back as soon as the medicine wears off.

If TENS therapy is not used, chiropractic care can also involve the use of heat and cold therapy to decrease the pain and help to increase range of motion by performing exercises while the pain is gone.

In addition, a few other chiropractic techniques can be used including:

NIMMO Treatment. NIMMO treatment is also known as trigger point therapy. Pressure is placed on the trigger points, or areas that cause pain or tenderness. These areas can be causing the referred pain in the shoulder.

Trigger point therapy creates pressure on these areas, helping the muscle around it to relax. Over time, this type of therapy is thought to restore normal function to the joint and muscle.

This therapy method involves the use of impulse waves that are sent to the tissues that are damaged. This helps to increase circulation in the area as well as lymphatic flow. It also coincides with decreased muscle tension and spasms. This is a very gentle way to loosen the damaged shoulder area without causing any pain.

Advanced Adjustments & Exercise. Advanced, chiropractic adjustments can also be used successfully for chiropractic correction of frozen shoulder. This method when performed consistently can enhance the flexibility and range of motion of the shoulder over the matter of a few months.

In addition, many chiropractors provide exercises to be performed at home to increase the range of motion of the shoulder. These exercises include both stretching and strengthening exercises. Stretching helps to increase the motion allowed by the area a little bit at a time while strengthening helps to build up the muscle and increase the ability of your arm to move.


Dealing with frozen shoulder can be very debilitating to your daily life. Finding the right therapy that will work to increase your range of motion is crucial.

Vancouver chiropractor Dr. Troy Dreiling is experienced in providing care for your frozen shoulder and can help prevent, treat, and eliminate this painful issue from your life by getting to the root of the problem rather than treating just the painful symptoms that it can cause.

Call us to schedule your free initial consultation.