News & Updates
acupuncture adhesive capsulitis
November 12, 2015
October 17, 2015
Adhesive capsulitis (“frozen shoulder”) is seen commonly in patients 40-65 – years old.It is commonly seen in women than in men, especially in perimenopausal women or in patients with endocrine disorders, such as diabetes mellitus or thyroid disease.[I] Although frozen shoulder may not be life threatening, it can be very problematic and frustrating to live with.Patients usually present with problems adducting and abducting their shoulder showing limited range of motion. Strength is normal but it seems diminished when the patient is in pain. As with most other pain related ailments, the underlying cause of adhesive capsulitis is unknown.
The Three Phases of Frozen Shoulder
There are three phases: the inflammatory phase, the “freezing” phase, which usually lasts 4-6 months, patients complain of a very painful shoulder without obvious clinical findings to trauma or fracture. During the “freezing phase, which usually lasts 4-6 months, the shoulder becomes stiffer and stiffer even though the pain is improving. The “thawing” phase can take up to a year as the shoulder slowly regains its motion. The total duration of an idiopathic frozen shoulder is usually about 24 months; it can be much longer for patients who have trauma or an endocrinopathy. [II] Patients are usually administered short term benefit solutions such as steroid injections that provide temporary relief or given prednisone for three weeks and sent back home.
Frozen Shoulder According to Chinese Medicine In the Chinese language frozen shoulder is also called “wu shi jian,” which literally translates to “50 year-old shoulder.” Traditional Chinese medicine considers frozen shoulder mainly due to poor nourishment of the soft tissues and meridians caused by deficiency of liver and kidney, Qi and blood, or due to the obstruction of meridians caused by invasion of wind cold.[III]
Many patients are simply are at their wits end and do not have any answer for this problem. They may be tired of steroid injections and the negative side effects painkillers have on their digestive systems. Below are a few solutions that can help with this.
1） Shoulder Exercises
These are several exercises you can easily do at home that can provide relief and break up these adhesions and restore some mobility: 1) Wall Climbing Exercises (pictured below): Stand opposite of a wall. Let the fingers of the effected side or both sides climb up the wall gradually as high as possible. Hold the arm at the highest position for 1-2 minutes. Repeat daily two times a day.
2） Acupuncture for Frozen Shoulder
Frozen Shoulder is a very common ailment we see in our Brisbane Acupuncture clinic. Acupuncture is extremely effective at eliminating frozen shoulder pain without the side effects of painkillers according to a 2001 University of Hong Kong study. (see video below.) Often times, patients achieve lasting relief. Local trigger points may be used below the sub scapular region to relieve pain and improve blood circulation in the affected area.
youtube video here: https://youtu.be/zGaZgTf2TB0
Frozen Shoulder Brisbane Clinic Case Study
M 32, Severe shoulder pain 3 months. unable to lift arm up past 60 degrees limited range of motion. Pain from old sports injury. Third treatment range of motion came back with significant reaction in pain.
Subscribe to more videos HERE
3） Cupping Therapy
Cupping therapy is used in conjunction with acupuncture to enhance the healing process. Cupping has a warming function and helps blood move and circulate better thought the body allowing for faster healing times. Because frozen shoulder is often associated with wind and cold pathogens in Chinese medicine theory, the warming effect of cupping for frozen shoulder responds very well. Glass cups are strategically placed onto pain points along the shoulder and scapular region pulling and the muscles and allowing blood to flow properly to the affected area again.
Tao Hong Su Wu Tang (桃红四物汤)
A common formula your practitioner may prescribe to you for frozen shoulder is Tao Hong Su Wu Tang. According to Chinese medicine most types of pain are caused by blood stagnation. The old Chinese saying goes “When blood is not flowing freely there will be pain” （通则不痛.) In order to clear the stagnation and flow of blood we often use this formula which has Peach seed (桃仁) and Carthamus flower (红花) as it’s main active ingredient. Since it is blood mover, this formula should not be taken if a patient is on anti-coagulant medications or aspirin/ warfarin. For more details please ask your practitioner.
Great Video on Acupressure for Shoulder Pain:
*All Videos Filmed With Written Informed Consent
*Results may vary from person to person. The owner of this website does not claim to cure, or prevent any disease or illness. For more information on how acupuncture works, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If You or anyone you know, are suffering form Frozen Shoulder and live in the Brisbane QLD area, please share this article or feel free to contact us for a FREE assessment. Please let them know that help is out there and other options available.
Bob Wong was raised in a traditional Chinese medicine family and moved to mainland China to study and train for almost a decade. During that time, he was able to learn from some of the top acupuncturists and Chinese Medicine practitioners in at the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine. His mission is not bring that knowledge and experience to help his patients.
*The owner of this site is not liable for any misfortune that should befall a visitor to this site.This site does not offer personal advice & no information on it can be construed as personal advice. In the event that you may feel our therapies may be of benefit, we advise you to contact the clinic to make an appointment for diagnosis and treatment.