Two separate case studies showed chiropractic care helping patients with shoulder problems. The first study was published on June 8, 2020, in the journal The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research and involved a 68-year-old man with frozen shoulder. The second case was also published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on July 31, 2020, and involved a 69-year-old woman who was helped with adhesive capsulitis through chiropractic care.
The Mayo Clinic describes these types of shoulder problems on their website by saying, “Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint.” They further explain that “The bones, ligaments and tendons that make up your shoulder joint are encased in a capsule of connective tissue. Frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint, restricting its movement.”
The authors of the July 31st study note that in their case a 69-year-old woman had fallen and fractured the top of her right arm bone, the humerus. As her shoulder healed, it became stiff and difficult to move. She was eventually diagnosed as having adhesive capsulitis before seeking chiropractic care.
Specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were performed on the woman’s spine. After six visits, the woman reported a decrease in shoulder pain and a significant increase in all movement. She also noted the ability to perform daily activities such as writing in her journal, doing arts and crafts, getting in and out of the pool more confidently, and being able to reach behind her for the first time since fracturing her humeral head.
The other case published on June 8th involved a 68-year-old man who went to the chiropractic clinic having a chief complaint of left sided shoulder pain and stiffness. He had been given a previous diagnosis of frozen shoulder by his medical doctor. This man’s issue started 20 years earlier after two falls from his bicycle. The man’s pain and stiffness were getting progressively worse prior to seeking chiropractic care.
After a chiropractic examination, chiropractic care was initiated at the rate of three visits per week. As care progressed, the man noted that his pain and stiffness were steadily improving. He was excited to report that he could put on his shirts and jackets without the need for assistance.
In the conclusion of the July 31st study, the authors wrote in their conclusion that “Adhesive capsulitis is an enigma for health care professionals to diagnose and to treat. Treatment options are variable and show differing levels of success. Correcting vertebral subluxations throughout the spine is correlated with improvement in subjective pain ratings as well as active and passive range of motion measures.”