Double Frozen Shoulder

August 7, 2013 by
Filed under: Case of the month, Cases, Spinewave Bulletin, Symptoms 

frozen shoulder capsule chiropracticBoth shoulders 99% repaired – Rex.

Frozen shoulder is common, yet poorly understood. For most people who get frozen shoulder, the onset is idiopathic – meaning of unknown cause.

For any condition where the cause is unknown, or when an individual finds themselves just “waking up one morning” host to a problem, you’re thinking chronic condition; you’re thinking long term build up; nervous system based issue; inflammatory and or autoimmune condition.

Nothing ever “just happens”. The human body walks a fine line of homeostasis (balance) and the things we do, think, eat, drink or say affects that biology over time (whether you believe it or not).

The body always keeps score. Inflammation causes most of the same changes in the brain and body that have been repeatedly observed in animals and humans exposed to stress, especially when the stress is chronic and of a psychosocial nature1. Inflammation can cause any number of problems in the body: where and how is dependent upon your nervous system’s particular wiring. Your nervous system is like a glass of water. How much stress and inflammation it can handle is finite. Eventually the glass will overflow.

“Adhesive capsulitis” is the term given to frozen shoulder because the shoulder capsule becomes stuck and inflamed. The capsule is like cling film which vacuum packs the shoulder joint. The shoulder “freezes” and movement becomes limited, difficult and painful. The underlying pathology of frozen shoulder is chronic inflammation of the synovial capsule (the cling film) and reactive capsular fribrosis2 (the formation of adhesions).

adhesive capsulitis chiropractic

Frozen shoulder is a “system” problem, not just a “shoulder” problem. Simply exercising and stretching the shoulder alone will not help without addressing the underlying neuroimmune issues.

Frozen shoulder typically goes through 3 stages: Freezing (painful), frozen (stiff), and thawing (resolving) – click here for more. This journey can potentially last up to 2 years. However, that timeline depends totally on you and the specific kind of treatment received.

frozen shoulder stages chiropractic

“In my opinion the services provided to me during my course of care have been excellent.

I first went to Neil following a fall, resulting in an injured right shoulder. On my first consultation Neil discovered I actually had two frozen shoulders: The left shoulder being from a gym injury that had occurred 6 to 12 months earlier.

Having two frozen shoulders prevented me from enjoying my golf career, boating and fishing. Additionally, I had daily challenges. For example, simple movements that involved reaching for something like parking tickets became too painful and I had to find other ways to complete the task.

So game on! Neil began a 9 month course on me which resulted in both shoulders 99% repaired. I can now enjoy my golf career, plus boating and fishing is not a problem. Thanks Neil!

I continue to attend regularly for treatments to my spine as required. Regular visits to Spinewave for me have become an important part of my lifestyle and for keeping pain free. I have become a life member.

I encourage anyone who has constant pain or other issues to visit the team at Spinewave – you will not be disappointed.”

Rex Dagger – Resolution of Double Frozen Shoulder

© Dr Neil Bossenger 2013


  1. Miller, A. et al. Inflammation and its discontents: the role of cytokines in the pathophysiology of major depression. 2009. Biol Psychiatry 65, 732-741.
  2. Brue, S. et al. Idiopathic adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder: a review. 2007. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy. 10.1007/s00167-007-0291-2.
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