Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Ladies and gentlemen ~ Dr. Liz Easterling!
Another member of "Team Susan!" (BTW: How is your team building going?) Dr. Liz will explain what this "Frozen Shoulder" I am always referring to is all about. If you suddenly recognize the symptoms as something you or someone you know is dealing with, please pay a visit to Creative Healing!
Adhesive Capsulitis- Frozen Shoulder
When I first started seeing Susan in spring of 2009, she had been suffering with a hugely annoying and painful shoulder problem for several months already. She had been seeing Kyla Feddersen, our fabulous massage therapist for a few weeks and figured she should try some Chiropractic treatment in addition, Susan had been planning a triathlon summer/fall of 2009 but swimming had become too painful. In fact, even getting a swimsuit on due to the pain was an ordeal, let alone to actually swim!
Upon examination I immediately recognized her shoulder condition as Adhesive Capsulitis - or Frozen Shoulder. As the name implies, the shoulder is usually painful for several weeks or months, and then gradually begins to stiffen, the range of motion is lost and the shoulder quite literally “freezes up”. Anybody who has suffered with Frozen shoulder can attest to the difficulties it can present in everyday life. Drying your hair, doing a bra-strap, reaching for a seatbelt and putting on a jacket can suddenly become a challenge. Also, the pain is often worse at night, so sleeping can likely become a nightmare!
The causes of Frozen Shoulder are thought to include trauma, tumours, radiation treatment and even mental or emotional stress. The term “Idiopathic” is commonly used related to the cause of Frozen Shoulder, a big medical term that means “unknown”! Typically Frozen Shoulders can take between six months to two years or more to resolve, depending on age, severity, the presence of arthritis etc.
It’s a little controversial as to what the best treatment is for Frozen Shoulder, but it is generally agreed that a combination of manipulation, mobilization and exercises seem to work best in terms of results. More aggressive treatment options are injections into the shoulder capsule and surgery. These treatments so carry a higher risk of side-effects or adverse reactions and should be considered after trying a more conservative approach first.
Susan, being Susan and very committed, dedicated and tenacious (aka stubborn!) decided upon the no quick-fix option of conservative care first.
And so the weeks and months of hard work begun, and with it the ups and downs both physically and emotionally. We mobilized and manipulated, stretched and rotated, pulled and pushed, and slowly but surely Susan’s right arm inched it’s way up again. There were certainly days that she needed more than just a little encouragement, but Kudos to Susan, she stuck with it and the sweat equity paid off!
A big turning point was in January 2010 when Susan started working with a personal trainer at Twist Kelowna, and really stepped up her training schedule. All of a sudden there was weekly progress, and although Susan’s shoulder still remains sore, her range of motions is up around 80%. She is now swimming, (a little lopsided perhaps) and she has resumed straightening her hair, after months of the “au natural look!”
Today, about a year later, Susan is finally thinking about her next triathlon. There is, as the expression goes, light at the end of the tunnel!
For more info you can visit Creative Healing’s website at www.creativehealing.ca or call us at 250-868-2010.