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Frozen Shoulder Pain

Treatment & Therapy

Frozen shoulder is really an under-use syndrome. Prolonged time of not using the shoulder, or more specifically, not going through a full range of motion on regular enough of a basis. It is my opinion, and you will hear this advice as practically a “catch all” elixir to combat dysfunction, we must move through our full range of motion regularly for fascia (including tendons) to remain hydrated and healthy. But this is how to stay out of trouble. How we can address this common issue is another thing entirely.

What is it exactly?

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. Signs and symptoms usually worsen over time and then resolve, usually within one to three years. It is most common in women over the age of 50 but overall common in everyone and in my observation becoming even more common as people’s work is more relegated to computer work. And weirdly enough, there are even theories that injections can cause inflamatory responses that can irritate joints. Primary FS is a spontaneous stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. Secondary FS is caused by other injuries that eventually result in the same symptoms. This is probably the more common version in my experience.


How Does Rolfing Fix This?

As a manual therapist I can say this on authority because I can’t help but notice how often a shoulder that was diagnosed as adhesive capsitiltis was also accompanied by a shoulder that cannot externally rotate while adducting (moving toward the midline of the body), just as one example. I only mention this because while it seems like it complicates matters it also suggests that the primary issue was a certain other action that the shoulder just gradually lost the ability to do. And that is where trouble can brew. Until we can address that we will never truly resolve a frozen shoulder. So although there are always going to be “usual suspects” with regard to frozen shoulders eg. Tight distal infraspinatus muscles, irritated bursa, it’s important to consider what other players are interfering with proper motion. Afterall the shoulder is supposed to be the most mobile joint in the body. Rolfing and other manual therapies as well as movement work can be some of the most helpful interventions out there for this affliction. But in the meantime I encourage you to move them shoulders! Even the odd movements you forgot about or haven’t visited in a while. Do them. Strength is important too, but having access to all planes of motion is the first order of business.

What Clients Are Saying

Please read these summary reviews from my clients. I think you will find that their experiences will help illustrate what you can expect in our sessions. 

If you have a sports injury, chronic pain, and are interested in a holistic but very physical method to improve your posture, I highly recommend Tom Richards and his practice.

Laura Fuqua

Achilles Tendon Pain, Berkeley

I did a series with Tom a couple of months ago. It appears to have been the catalyst for some profound and very welcome changes in my body. I now feel more ease.

Simon Gibson

Rolfing Movement

Not only is Rolfing the most truly effective and lasting way I have found to address pain and movement restrictions, but Tom is the best Rolfer I have ever worked with.

Nicole R.

Davis, CA

Tom Richards

Advanced Rolfer

1144 Fallbrook St
West Sacramento, CA 95691

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