Bonnie Prudden drawing - wavingDON’T GIVE YOUR shoulder the cold shoulder or you may end up with a frozen shoulder. Everyone knows that it is better to deal with a problem in its early stages in order to prevent it from getting worse – and that goes for roofs, cars, and muscles too.

Medically speaking “frozen shoulder” is known as adhesive capsulitis and occurs when inflammation and scar tissue invade the shoulder joint.

Bonnie Prudden drawing injured ball playerThe Harvard Medical School tells us that up to 70% of people will experience shoulder pain at some point in their lives, and that 2% to 5% will be affected by “frozen shoulder.” The Mayo Clinic tells us that the signs and symptoms – stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint – typically begin g radually, worsen over time and then resolve, usually within one to three years.

How would you like to live with that prognosis?

Not only that, they say the exact cause of “frozen shoulder” isn’t clear but could be caused by immobilization such as following injury, stroke, or surgery.

It also seems that there are three stages: freezing, frozen, thawing.

During the freezing stage you develop pain when you move it, resulting in limited range of motion; it gets worse over time and can last 6 to 9 months.

During the frozen stage the pain might get better but the stiffness gets worse, daily activities become much more difficult, and it lasts 4 to 12 months.

Bonnie Prudden Drawing Shepards Crook in ShoulderDuring the thawing stage the range of motion begins to come back but it can take  6 months to 2 years.

Bonnie Prudden drawing elbow into shoulderThe current treatments are cortisone injections, joint distension (injection of sterile water to stretch the capsule), physical therapy which has mixed results, and arthroscopic surgery, but none of these must work very well otherwise the typical recovery time would not be 1 to 3 years.

PREVENTION, of course, is the best way to go. As a young tennis instructor and a competing badminton player and now as an old Bonnie Prudden Myotherapist, my shoulders are important to me. I can’t afford to take one week off let alone two years. My shoulders very seldom even whisper to me but that is because I treat myself using the self-help BP Myo tools and do my corrective exercises between patient treatments and following my self-help. Light WEIGHTS are my companions as I go through my daily exercise routine.

Trigger Points Arm and Hand Both ViewsThe shoulder patients that come to me vary from “it happened yesterday” to “it has been going on for years.” For example: contractors injured when some scaffolding or ladders gave way… violin players who have to hold their bodies in unkind positions… tennis players who don’t warm up, play for hours and don’t stretch afterward, and those injured in falls because they have not maintained their offensive and defensive hip muscles and so lack balance. And then there is the weekend warrior who is going to get back into shape on Saturday morning. And those who have had a stroke or mastectomy.

Trigger points torso and upper backI’ve treated shoulders in all stages including following shoulder replacements. But in each of the cases the old adage a stitch in time saves nine applies. The newer the injury is, the easier to fix. The new injury has not had time to organize itself and recruit uninjured muscles to do a job they are not designed to do.

Because we are all hung together, because the muscles pull on one another, because many muscles cross the shoulder joint, and because often shoulder problems are influenced by forearms and hands as in the case of racquet sports, weight lifting, musical instruments, art and tools, opposing and adjacent muscle groups must all be addressed.

To fix your shoulder, follow the diagrams which indicate the most common trigger points. Remember to follow with corrective exercises as shown here. They reeducate the muscles and like children need to be reminded often throughout the day.Bonnie Prudden corrective exercise

For more information on how to fix shoulders, read my blogs:

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If you have questions or need help, email me at enid@bonnieprudden.com.

For more information about Bonnie Prudden®, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®, workshops, books, self-help tools, DVDs, educational videos, and blogs, visit www.bonnieprudden.com. Or call 520-529-3979 if you have questions or need help. Enid Whittaker, Managing Director, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®