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Acupuncture for frozen shoulder

On this page

  1. Overview
  2. Symptoms
  3. Causes
  4. Treatment
  5. Self-care

1. Overview

A frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is painful and restricting. It's chronic muscle tension and shoulder pain. Movement is limited which causes problems in washing and putting clothes on.

2. Symptoms

People with a frozen shoulder often complain of shoulder joint and restricted range of motion and arm movements.

3. Causes

A frozen shoulder can be caused by a prolonged period of stress, poor posture or exposure to the cold.

4. Treatment

Often people with seek treatment from a physical therapist such as a physiotherapist for a frozen shoulder, who will give exercises to do. However, in a lot of cases, this won't be enough to relieve the frozen shoulder. Trying to move the arm can help relieve the muscle tension and pain. However, it is often too late to do this as it is too painful to move the arm.

Acupuncture treatment is very effective for treating a frozen shoulder. As a frozen shoulder is a chronic problem, the person can benefit from having acupuncture treatment.

With each session of acupuncture, it peels off layers of the tension allowing more movement and less pain.

The stimulation of acupuncture points around the rotator cuff and joint capsule can reduce pain and inflammation in the short term. It's best to have acupuncture treatment in the early stage as it's anti-inflammatory and use physical therapy afterwards.

Watch this animated video below which explains how acupuncture is an effective treatment for shoulder problems.



Clinical trials has shown that acupuncture is able to prevent bone loss in shoulder problems.

5. Self-care

Keeping the area warm and applying heat to the shoulder can give temporary relief to the pain.

For long term relieve of frozen shoulder it's ideal to do shoulder exercises that loosen the shoulder, such as swimming or yoga.

References

Gao, L, et al. Clinical trial of treatment of frozen shoulder by intensive moxibustion plus acupuncture. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2019 Apr 25;44(4):297-301. doi: 10.13702/j.1000-0607.170817.