Frozen shoulder and back neck pain is so discouraging

by Edelwina

It's almost 3 months now that I have frozen shoulder that is getting worse; I went to an acupuncturist but after he put the needles for less than 10 minutes, the pain was unbearably painful on my fs down to my finger tips. He also put some needles on my feet and saying that if it does not get better in 2 days then he can not help me anymore.

Though I already went to see physiotherapy one time which he just gave me what exercises to do and my second visit was only doing an assessment of how much my shoulder is being lifted up by centimeter higher, so I am not going to see him yet because as I said, i won't go back just to be measured instead to be cured. 3 weeks already that I am having a pain on the back of my neck, the pain is going down on the middle of my back. It is really a pain in the b--. cannot do my activity or can not even dance, unable to put my hair in a ponytail, can not reach my back, can not comb my hair properly, really annoying kind of immobilisation. Can not even sleep with my hand up above my head.

Please tell me if there are foods to avoid or what are the foods to eat to hasten the recovery or to heal. I would appreciate if you can email me the answer and the cure.
a lot in advance.

Hello Edelwina,
Alas you found your way to a very inexperienced acupuncturist, and it sounds like PT also; this is not something that is going to be cured in two visits.

There are likely one of two causes, or both. Either there is a subluxation in your neck, or often the first rib that is irritating either a nerve root or the brachial plexus; they supply the capsule of the shoulder and the muscles.

Or you may have had an injury to the shoulder itself, perhaps a rotator cuff strain.

Unfortunately there is no strong research indicating that ANYTHING helps; however my own experience with many frozen shoulders is that the right chiropractic treatment this doesn't need to take the standard 1-4 years to pass over.

At Chiropractic Help, using the search engine you'll find some frozen shoulder exercises. Start doing them daily, gently, don't force it.

Now start looking for an experienced chiropractor who does more than just adjust your neck. The AC joint and the subscapularis muscle are often key to the problem, over and above the adjustments of the spine.

Normally you can expect to get considerable relief with chiropractic care within a month, though the full range of motion may take a year or more to return; you can live with that if it's not so painful, often disturbing your sleep.

Do those exercises faithfully every day. Several times a day.

Good luck, I hope this contributes. Let me know in a month or so how you are getting on.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Ac-arthritis after x-ray reopined as frozen shoulder

Remember the lower cervical spine

Remember the lower cervical spine

Respected Doctor,
My first Doctor diagnosed my condtion as acromial clavicular arthritis and asked me to do pendulum exercise and since there was no improvement, I had to consult another Doctor and now I am told it is frozen shoulder.

Does this not contradict earlier diagnosis and what can I do to solve this situation.
with regards

Good day Shiva,
It may or may not contradict your earlier diagnosis; the AC joint is the second most arthritic joint in the body, after the thumb and so, if you do have a frozen shoulder, you probably do also have degenerative changes in that little joint.

In my practice I pay great attention to the AC-joint in all frozen shoulders; it tends to be fixated and without loosening it up your shoulder will remain stiff and painful.

In fact one of the most debilitating and painful conditions in any practice; untreated the pain and disability may continue for several years. Nights are usually disturbed and dressing is a nightmare.

By using the site search function at Chiropractic Help, you'll find some frozen shoulder exercises.

But that AC-joint needs to be mobilised too, and the lower cervical spine and midback; it's a problematic condition.

Research has found no proven treatment, neither medical or chiropractic that consistently works; however, by addressing the above, I find the pain is usually halved within a month or so, but the range of motion may take a year to fully recover. Start with the exercises faithfully several times every day; do them gently.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Patient of Frozen Shoulder

by Beverly

Joint of Luschka

Joint of Luschka

In October 2015, I complained about pain in my left shoulder. The pain was intense, it hurt under my arm and I had shooting pain across my breast.

In November I had my yearly mammogram, test came back negative. I complained again to my doctor how I seemed to be losing movement in my arm, and also how painful it had become to raise my arm to comb my hair. My Doctor set me to get a MRI and the results were I had an adhesive capsulitis of the left shoulder.

So far I have been to Physical Therapy 3 times, and on the last visit, I was instructed to use an overhead weight of 5lbs to
exercise my arm. I don't know how to explain the pain I've been in since that last visit.

I do my assigned exercises at home, but I'm struggling to do them. My left hand wakes me up at night, and I take a medication to help me rest. Just finished testing for AC1 it's 6.7, blood pressure is good, I walk, my BMI is 25, my weight is good, I'm 63yrs. old.

I need to understand the pain and swelling of my arm, hands
and fingers.

Hello Beverly,
Please lie on your back with your right elbow and shoulder at 90*. Ask hubby to gently rotate the shoulder by pushing the fist first internally and then externally. Remember what you feel.

Repeat with naughty shoulder. What's the difference. Let me know.

I wouldn't do that exercise with your arm above your head. As a general rule exercises shouldn't hurt; you may feel it but no pain.

There are concerns about the diagnosis. A frozen shoulder wouldn't normally cause swelling. With pain now of six months duration, and getting worse you have every right to be concerned.

A frozen shoulder on the other hand is one of the toughest conditions to treat. Personally I love it, as it responds well to chiropractic, but the pain is horrific so don't feel you're being a baby.

Our understanding is that it is usually related to a lower neck or first rib condition. Not treating these causes of the problem means the chances of success are lower.

You'll see we have some frozen shoulder exercises at Chiropractic Help. Remember they shouldn't cause pain. Do them gently, especially at first.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Chest pain after frozen shoulder thawing?

I had adhesive capsulitis, with greatly reduced motion and painful almost electric jolts when I would move my shoulder in a certain way. I called these incidents 'brownouts' because they hurt so much I had to stop what I was doing and just wait for the pain to subside until I could function again.

After about 12 months the jolts stopped and after about 18 months I could begin using my shoulder again. I have most of my motion back now, it's been 3 months since 'unfreezing,' but I still have pain in my left chest/side/back. It kind of wraps around behind my breast. I had and EKG and it was normal. Is this pain left over from the frozen shoulder? Would a chiropractor be able to help?

It's a shame you never heard of chiropractic before; this is a condition I love to treat.

A frozen shoulder almost always affects the subscapularis muscle and the associated ribs, hence this wrap around pain.

Good luck, ask your chiropractor to start slowly and gently, you've been out of action for a long time; Rome wasn't built in a day.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Frozen Shoulder in month 4 with no improvement

by Anne
(Birmingham, Al)

A first rib fixation is often the underlying cause affecting both nerve and blood supply.

A first rib fixation is often the underlying cause affecting both nerve and blood supply.

I am now about to enter month 5 of suffering from chronic pain that is associated with frozen shoulder. I am a 59 yo female and have suffered from this condition in the past with the opposite shoulder which resulted in 3 surgeries because I believe the condition was misunderstood.
This time, as soon as the familiar frozen shoulder pain presented itself, I vowed to beat it without surgical intervention, therefore I contacted a sports medicine md here in Birmingham, Al. who treats patients without operating. She gave me a steroid shot and recommended physical therapy.
The physical therapy was relieving the pain somewhat, but the bills were extraordinary because of my high deductible. Eventually I quit the pt and attempted to replicate the regime at home as closely as possible.
My therapist followed up with me on the phone, and assured me the shoulder would improve if I kept up my routine.
I am becoming increasingly frustrated as I don't believe there has been significant change since day one.
My routine now is heat, warm up on the rowing machine for 7 min., stretching, very light weights, ice, Advil, and tens unit.
I noticed your demonstration of stretching exercises on this website and hope that I can incorporate those as well.
I plan to do some research on chiropractic treatment and determine what my out of pocket expenses would be.
I think I am just searching for words of encouragement as this condition is increasingly wearing on me both physically and mentally.
I would appreciate any comments about this condition.

Hello Anne,
I can understand your frustration and it's true that untreated a frozen shoulder can go on for a four years; enough to make anyone depressed. And the cost of treatment is indeed not insignificant, especially if it's not helping.

However, I do have some good news. Whilst so called 'straight' chiropractors who adjust only the spine won't get these kind of results, I have treated many hundreds of frozen shoulders and as a general rule the pain is reduced within a month by at least 50%. Full range of motion may never return but honestly if you lose 10% of flexion, you'll hardly notice it, if you have no pain. You can expect the ROM to largely return within a year.

Go to and see the side effects of advil, also known as ibuprofen; taken for a short period the risks are probably minimal but swallowed month after month, with no improvement makes no sense considering the dangers.

With you having had this before in the other shoulder one should also consider whether this isn't systemic. This is the time to get onto an anti inflammatory diet; there are many aspects of this but perhaps most important is to strictly reduce omega-6 oils and increase omega-3. A change to extra virgin olive oil, and either fatty fish or freshly ground flax seed would go a long way to helping.

There is often a deposit of 'toothpaste' in the shoulder joint itself; foods rich in magnesium like spinach on a daily basis would also be important.

Then there are the exercises; just do them very faithfully several times every day; the rule is you will feel it, but they mustn't cause pain.

The underlying cause of frozen shoulder, apart from diet, is often in the AC joint, a first rib or lower cervical fixation; without those being addressed you can expect it to go on for the full four years.

Contact your local chiropractic association and ask for the name of a DC with a FICS qualification; sports chiropractic.

Good luck, I hope this contributes; let us know in six weeks how you are getting on.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Frozen shoulder with achiness

by Felicia

In short, I fell, injured my shoulder and was in a sling for about 7 weeks while waiting on a diagnosis. It was determined that I have frozen shoulder but I am also having stabbing pain in my upper arm when I type, use a mouse, type on my touch screen or even press buttons on the remote.

This is accompanied by a deep achy pain and weakness in my elbow and forearm. Is this typical of frozen shoulder?

Hello Felicia,
Yes, they are, but the history is a little unusual; perhaps being in the sling was the cause, not the best if nothing broken or ruptured; the shoulder then becomes very tight.

There are just so many potential causes of this that I find it difficult to comment; if it's really just frozen shoulder, confirmed by your doctor, then I'd take that sling off immediately and start our frozen shoulder exercises. Gently and carefull and they shouldn't be painful but you will feel it.

Let me know how you get on.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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