06. May 2012 · Comments Off on Frozen Shoulders and Bellingham Acupuncture · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags: , , ,

Chronic shoulder pain happens when muscles around the shoulder joint become tense. The most common area affected by this is the scapula. The tense muscles of the upper body often cause pressure on the scapula bone which causes the shoulder pain.  Besides the upper body muscles, the rotator cuff muscles likewise can often suffer tightness.  These muscles are actually surrounded by muscles of the upper back, deltoid, outer shoulder, upper arm and chest muscles.  Treatment of the rotator cuff muscles often entail lengthening the muscles of these other aforementioned areas since pain on the shoulder joints will not go away if the other muscle conditions surrounding the rotator cuff is not addressed.  A therapy called Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) is sometimes applied to treat shoulder joint pain. This therapy involves lengthening the outer muscles of the upper body first after which then follows the treatment of the rotator cuff muscles.

The scapula is commonly known as the shoulder blades and many back muscles are attached to it.  Removing the shoulder pain means enabling the scapula to move without obstruction.  The muscles of the upper back, shoulders, upper arms and chest all can affect the scapula and if any of them becomes too tense, the scapula becomes misaligned causing pain in the shoulder joint.

Frozen shoulder syndrome or adhesive capsulitis is the difficulty or incapability in raising the arm. Pain in the shoulder joint is also accompanied by this syndrome.  The muscles inside arm bone or humerus are called the rotator cuff muscles.  When the rotator cuff muscles become stressed and tighten up, it impairs the movement of the shoulders (frozen shoulder) and causes pain.

For frozen shoulder syndrome, physicians often prescribe anti-inflammatory injection.  Giving epidural injections to the rotator cuff muscles is not enough since this muscle group is not the only cause of the frozen shoulder.  The surrounding muscles still are inflamed and this is an equally major factor in the shoulder joint problem.   AIS addresses frozen shoulder problem by loosening the outer muscles first before taking care of the rotator cuff muscles.

Bellingham Acupuncture is one great alternative approach for frozen shoulder problems.  It can be used as a stand-alone treatment for shoulder joint problems or used in combination with AIS.  When combining these two therapies, it is advisable to apply AIS first before acupuncture as acupuncture produce better results when the exterior and interior muscles are unknotted first.  AIS removes the cause of the inflammation of the surrounding muscles and the rotator cuff muscles while acupuncture helps remove the pain and the inflammation in the shoulder joint.  The combination of these two approaches have been proven most effective than using these two treatment separately.  Some medical acupuncturists actually apply a third treatment, anti-inflammatory injection, to the two modalities.

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