Our treatment of adhesive capsulitis utilizes a complex protocol involving two highly specialized therapeutic modalities offering the best possible chance of solving this complex condition. The only way to really solve adhesive capsulitis is to correctly identify the mechanisms responsible for its development and then employ the proper therapy. As shockwave therapy professionals, we have 3 state-of-the-art EMS Shockwave units to use, each offering something unique to treat the various dysfunctions in the region. We also have magnetic biostimulation therapy to help us if needed with the nervous system and nerve endings deep within the joint capsule and ligaments. Finally, we are trained in both Neuromuscular therapy and myofascial therapy to provide the neuromuscular work so necessary with Adhesive capsulitis sufferers. This condition arises due to problems with nerves, tendons, ligaments, muscles, lymphatic drainage, and stress. Our assessment and subsequent treatments are extremely dynamic, performed by Glenn himself to ensure all aspects of the condition are accurately identified and addressed.
Definition: What Is It?
Adhesive capsulitis is a debilitating painful condition where the shoulder joint is severely restricted and in a lot of cases frozen completely from any movements, due to a structural nature. Being “Structural” in nature implies that the condition arises due to major trauma or problem with the structural components of the joint. This is the more severe of the two conditions.
Symptoms of Adhesive Capsulitis can be similar to those of frozen shoulder, but vary slightly and are much worse in nature. Symptoms include:
- Shoulder movements forward and backward may be possible, but nowhere near their normal range of motion and pain will be present. Movements to the side like a bird trying to flap its wings and rotational movements like trying to put your hand behind your back will be impossible to do and will be extremely painful when trying.
- Sleeping on your side will likely be painful and not possible.
- Pain will be almost unbearable soon after the injury responsible for the condition to develop and will be relentless for many months. Many reports having to sleep in a semi-upright position in a recliner chair and even that may not help.
- Any number of sensations may be felt down the arm and into the fingers including pins and needles, numbness, ache, burning, cold, heat, or weird indescribable sensations.
In most cases, Adhesive Capsulitis arises after an initial trauma or injury to the shoulder. This trauma will be severe and very memorable so you will have no problem recalling exactly how and when you injured your shoulder. The trauma typically seen is with a tear in a tendon, ligament, or of the deep structural labrum cartilage of the joint itself. Bone fractures near the shoulder joint may also result in the development of adhesive capsulitis. Fractures of the upper humerus (upper arm), scapula (shoulder blade), or outer clavicle (collarbone) can trigger the guarding mechanism which is a primary cause of the condition. In rarer cases, a pinched nerve in the neck or problems in the vertebral discs of the neck can result in a neurologically induced form of adhesive capsulitis. In rare cases, there is no reason for Adhesive Capsulitis to have developed, but it has.
Mechanism: What really happens?
Any time a joint suffers an injury, whether it be minor or severe, the muscles which cross this joint will be tightened to prevent the joint from moving too much. This is a guarding mechanism to protect the joint from further damage. It is an instant spinal cord reflex which is not under your conscious control. You can’t stop it from happening. Adhesive capsulitis results when the tendons and/or ligaments which hold the bones of a joint together shrink as if your shoulder had been shrink-wrapped. Muscles become extremely short and tight in a contracture process, preventing the joint from moving at all. The significant pain results from the tear and from the ligaments and muscles contracture, like when you get a cramp in your leg. This pain will continue for many months and even years due to the adhesive capsulitis process of contracture of the major soft tissues of the joint, and not from the tears which invoked the response in the first place.
For more information regarding our alternative-non-surgical treatments, please contact us.