Acupuncture for Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, starts with stiffness and some pain in the shoulder joint. You tend to think it will go away, but it can take months and even years as it progresses through three stages – freezing, frozen, and thawing.

Who wants to have pain every time you have to get dressed or undressed? The dull ache just gets worse at night or if you move the shoulder a lot. During the thawing stage the stiffness abates and you start getting back the range of motion you were used to. In the meantime it has impacted your life – interfering with work, leisure and household chores.

While the exact cause in not known medical researchers have identified some factors that could contribute to frozen shoulder:

  1. 1 Immobilization – if you have had your shoulder immobilized because of injury, surgery or some other medical conditions.
  2. 2 Inflammation – if the shoulder joint is inflamed because of diet or other factors the tissues then thicken and it becomes stiff. We know that sugar and an excess of the wrong carbs can lead to inflammatory responses in the body.
  3. An autoimmune response – some researchers believe that the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies a threat and goes into overdrive. The autoimmune system then attacks the tissues in the shoulder joint, just like some dogs get over-excited and instead of attacking a burglar attack their owner instead during a home invasion!
  4. Diabetes – people living with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing frozen shoulder, although the exact reason has yet to be fully understood.
  1. Age and gender – if you are over the age of 40 you are at a higher risk of developing frozen shoulder and women are more prone to the condition than men.

Frozen shoulder could occur even if you don’t have any of the above.

Frozen shoulder can make sleeping difficult as you try to find a position where it doesn’t hurt. Additionally, the condition can lead to muscle weakness and atrophy in the affected arm if not properly managed. We all know the saying, “Use it or lose it.” This why Dr Yu, who has studied frozen shoulder intensively adopts a three-pronged approach using Traditional Chinese Medicine to help clear inflammation, suggesting adaptations to her patient’s diet and using acupuncture to encourage the lymphatic system to work properly.

A randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery in 2009 investigated the effects of acupuncture for frozen shoulder, finding that acupuncture combined with physical therapy was more effective in reducing pain and improving range of motion compared to physical therapy alone. A systematic review published in the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery and Research in 2017 analyzed various studies, concluding that acupuncture may be safe and effective as a treatment for improving shoulder function.

Why not give Zhou Wellness a call today to make a booking with Dr Yu and get that frozen shoulder moving again?