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What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is a syndrome that goes through three phases and is quite self explanatory. The shoulder literally “freezes” & loses up to 50% of its range of movement, which causes severe pain and severe loss of function.

The phases of frozen shoulder include;

  • Freezing phase: that may have been caused by an existing injury or come on insidiously (with no apparent reason). In this phase there is usually extreme pain, also at night, that can “catch” around the shoulder.

  • Frozen phase: occurs after the night pain has ceased and the shoulder has gone into a ‘protective mode’ that reduces the function of the shoulder. Particularly with every day activities like dressing, brushing teeth and driving to name just a few.

  • Thawing phase: starts as the shoulder starts to slowly increase the movement and decrease in stiffness and pain.

The natural history of a frozen shoulder has an average of 30 months duration. This is chronic pain at it’s worse.

What causes Frozen Shoulder?

Idiopathic (arising spontaneously or from an obscure or unknown cause) frozen shoulder is often associated to diseases such as; Diabetes mellitus, Parkinsons Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Ischaemic heart disease, Cervical disc disease and Thyroid disorders. Other factors such as depression have been implicated in the causes of frozen shoulder.

Secondary frozen shoulder can be the result of rotator cuff tears or tendinopathy or post traumatic from a fracture, (shoulder) surgery or a fall on an outstretched arm.

What are the risk factors?

The main risk factors include;

  • Ageing Posture - especially round-shouldered

  • Shoulder intensive sports

  • Repetitive manual occupation

  • Diabetes - types I and II

  • Trauma

  • Immobilisation / splinting

  • Fracture

  • Surgery

What is Niel-Asher Technique™ (NAT)?

The NAT technique was originally developed in 1999 to treat frozen shoulder & rotator cuff tendinopathies. NAT is an advanced trigger point technique using specific and repeatable algorithms utilising the bodies automatic spinal reflexes. NAT is an evidence based technique with publishings in the International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine (2014) & The Journal of Rheumatology.

Results from administering the NAT technique showed;

  • Significantly increased active range of motion: Range of motion improved by 52.6° degrees for the Niel-Asher Technique™ compared to 24° degrees for standard physiotherapy and 0.8° degrees for placebo.

  • 80% Reduction in Pain: Pain improved by 38.7 points for the Niel-Asher Technique™ compared to 19.9 points for physiotherapy and 22.8 points for placebo. In fact those patients treated with the Niel-Asher Technique™ reported an 80% decrease in pain over 9 weeks!

  • Significantly increased strength & power: Treatment with the Niel-Asher Technique™ demonstrated a significant increase in strength and power (Newton metres per second as measured by a cybex dynamometer), even though no exercises were given. In this study the physiotherapy group did not improve at all and the placebo group decreased in strength and power! Why? Niel-Asher Technique™ works directly on the brain to improve shoulder muscle co-ordination via nociceptive inputs.

Who can help?

John Bogle our Myotherapist completed the NAT treatment protocol in 2016 & is accredited to provide the NAT treatment program.

Book your appointment with John online here.

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