Mississauga Chiropractor Presents: Student Review of Frozen Shoulder

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Categories: Lecture Series

Here’s another blog by a Co-op Student of a Mississauga Chiropractor

Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)



  •  Scarring, Inflammation, thickening and or shrinking of capsule
  • Impact injury to shoulder

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Usually over age of 40
  • Moderate to severe pain that limits all shoulder movements
  • Pain interferes with sleep
  • Restriction when lifting/rotating arm

3 stages:

1) Painful Stage: 2-9 months

2) Stiffening Stage: 4-12 months

3) Thawing Stage: 5-12 months

Muscles/ Joints Affected:

  • Rotator interval capsule
  • Biceps tendon root
  • Inferior and posterior capsule

Treatment/ Management:

  • Mobilization to the glenohumeral joint
  • Rehabilitation exercises to further mobilize the glenohumeral joint (wall walks, codman circles, sleeper stretch)
  • Soft tissue therapy to scapular stabilizers (ART-Active Release Technique)
  • Surgery
  • Anti-flammatory medication
  • hot packs
  • Ultrasound
  • Massage

Rehab Exercises:

Wall Walks:

  • Facing a wall, put your hand on the wall and try to move your arm up the wall by climbing with your      fingers. Repeat 15-20 times

Codman Circles:

  • Hold a 2-5lb dumbbell/iron in the hand of the affected shoulder
  • Slightly flex forward so that the dumbbell/iron is hanging downwards.
  • Slowly move the dumbbell in a circular motion or back & forth as your shoulder is being pulled down by the dumbbell.
  • Use the weight of the dumbbell to swing the arm in a circular motion or back & forth.
  • Do about 25 circles clockwise and counter clockwise.


  • Stretch the arm of affected shoulder across your chest, keeping it straight parallel to the floor. Use other arm to hook underneath the affected shoulder’s arm at the elbow.  Then apply gentle, even pressure to pull the arm of your affected shoulder into the chest. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat 3-4 times
  • Holding a broom horizontally with both hands, have your good arm push the broom up with the bad arm


  • May take 1-2 months with chiropractic care.
  • May take 1-2 years if left untreated
  • 60% of individuals are left with some permanent loss of shoulder motion


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