person placing acupuncture needles on patient August 1, 2021

Acupuncture for Frozen Shoulder: Does it Work?

Do you suffer from a dull ache in your shoulder? Do you experience a searing pain that stops you from moving your shoulder past a certain point? You could have a frozen shoulder.

The condition of a frozen shoulder, aka adhesive capsulitis, is when a person experiences severe and painful restriction of motion in the shoulder joint. Over time, performing everyday activities becomes impossible, including even the most basic of activities: sleeping. 

Frozen shoulder occurs when the capsule around the shoulder joint causes the joint to contract, forming scar tissue and preventing shoulder movement within the socket. Because the range of motion is limited, it’s as if the shoulder is frozen, hence the name.

There are various ways to treat frozen shoulder syndrome. One is steroid injections, in which cortisone is injected into the joint capsule to stretch the tissue and improve the range of motion. There are also physiotherapists that claim to be able to help, although the ability for them to cure frozen shoulder is doubtful. 

The best method to cure frozen shoulder is to visit a frozen shoulder doctor that specializes in the use of the world’s first MCD procedure, something that can put an end to the pain in an extremely short time. Still, many people prefer to explore natural ways to improve their health before meeting with a specialist. 

So, can acupuncture sessions be the answer to your frozen shoulder issues? Read on and find out more 

tea cup and saucer on scroll of Chinese text

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and has been shown to provide pain relief for all kinds of issues, from headaches to lower back pain. This ancient practice developed over two millennia ago to improve health and provide pain relief naturally. 

The thinking behind acupuncture therapy is that the body has a life-energy flow called Qi (pronounced “chi”). The Qi exists within the body’s meridians, or energy channels. When the body is mentally or physically unhealthy, the flow of Qi is blocked, and an acupuncture treatment, it is thought, can unblock it.. 

2,000 acupuncture points were identified across the body, and the theory is that by inserting 10-40 ultra-fine acupuncture needles into the appropriate points, the stimulation will not only promote blood flow, but also release the necessary chemicals that allow the body to feel reduced pain and heal itself. 

This practice is used for a variety of chronic pain. The effects of acupuncture treatments vary from person to person, meaning that one person may feel the treatments start to work after the first session while another may feel results after a week.

woman weight lifting in gym

Does Acupuncture Help Shoulder Pain?

It is unclear. In a 2020 study on the effectiveness of acupuncture on frozen shoulder by an alternative medicine journal, it was determined that more study was needed due to a lack of evidence of the treatment’s efficacy. 

Physical Therapy for the Shoulder Joint

Frozen shoulder develops over the course of several stages:

  • Pre-Freezing Stage
  • Freezing Stage
  • Frozen Stage
  • Thawing Stage

Between the pre-freezing and freezing stages, individuals will seek out the services of a physical therapist because they will have endured symptoms for a few weeks. They usually undergo various physical therapy exercises and will be prescribed shoulder exercises to do at home, involving stretching and strengthening of the muscles. 

But physical therapy addresses the symptoms of shoulder pain and does not fix the main cause of a frozen shoulder, which is the scar tissue. 

Procedure min

What is the Best Treatment for a Frozen Shoulder?

While acupuncture and physiotherapy can be solutions for your frozen shoulder, it’s recommended to see a specialist who can examine your shoulder and provide you with a tried-and-true frozen shoulder treatment, namely the Manual Capsular Dissection (MCD) Procedure. 

Dr. Allan Gary Oolo-Austin of the World Frozen Shoulder Clinic created the MCD procedure that has a 98% efficiency rate of curing a frozen shoulder. It’s a non-invasive method that takes only an hour to complete. Frozen shoulder patients remain relatively conscious during the procedure to provide feedback, allowing the doctor and staff to tailor each treatment to the patient. After undergoing an MCD procedure, patients will be advised about the frozen shoulder exercises they should perform to improve their recovery rate.

If you suffer from chronic shoulder pain, it could be a frozen shoulder. Contact us today to book an appointment.

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