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What Is Frozen Shoulder Complex?

radiating shoulder painFrozen shoulder complex is a painful and debilitating condition in which the shoulder becomes locked up and unable to move. There are multiple factors that can play into a process that causes this issue.

The Effects of Posture

When normal body mechanics are altered, whether from unhealthy posture, the neck not functioning as it should, or repetitive trauma, the body compensates in various ways. The most common pattern we see as a precursor to shoulder problems is the pectoral muscles pulling the shoulders forward.

Initially, this posture results in neck pain and irritation of the biceps tendon. Over time, the body responds by tightening the muscles in the back of the shoulder joint (the rotator cuff muscles) to pull the shoulder backwards.

Calcium builds up in these tissues, causing them to become more rigid and less flexible. Although medical doctors refer to this condition as calcific tendinitis, the calcification itself is not the problem—it’s simply the body’s way of trying to protect itself.

If the biceps irritation and rotator cuff tightness don’t resolve, eventually the acromioclavicular (AC) joint at the top of the shoulder becomes inflamed. At this point, the condition is called frozen shoulder complex—the shoulder is locked in place, and movement is extremely limited and painful.

The Effects of Breathing

Believe it or not, there is a correct way to breathe, and improper breathing can contribute to altered mechanics that lead to many shoulder problems.

Most people take fast, shallow breaths and rely on the shoulders and upper rib cage to breathe. This causes the shoulders to roll forward, creating the posture that sets up the conditions for frozen shoulder.

How We May Help

Our chiropractor, Dr Hennessy, has three decades of experience helping patients create and maintain optimal posture to minimise the risks of many painful joint conditions. We offer postural exercises and education, and we can also teach you to breathe properly. Dr Hennessy can create a tailored plan specific to your situation and this may include exercises to help restore proper posture. Addressing the postural component allows your chiropractic adjustments to be much more beneficial in creating lasting improvement.

Schedule Care Today

Don’t wait for a painful issue such as frozen shoulder to arise. Contact us today to book your first appointment.


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