Acupuncture for Frozen Shoulders and Torn Rotator Cuffs

Shoulder pain – so many people suffer from it, but shoulder pain can be caused by different conditions that need to be treated in different ways.

Frozen Shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is the result of inflammation and fascial adhesion in your shoulder capsule. Free-style swimming, heavy lifting or other repetitive activities that require rotation of the shoulder can cause frozen shoulder, as well as a person’s age, hormonal balance and other underlying health issues. Stiffness, pain, and loss of function or range of motion characterize this malady. What distinguishes frozen shoulder from other shoulder injuries is, the less you use your arm, the worse it gets.

Acupuncture and Gua sha for Frozen ShoulderWhile surgery and anti-inflammatory drugs are common treatments, acupuncture and specifically guasha work well to liberate  frozen shoulder.  Guasha involves ‘scraping the skin’, a technique for relieving chronic pain that works to break up the fascial adhesions that limit range of motion.  By stimulating blood flow and improving circulation, guasha also helps to reduce and eliminate the inflammation associated with the condition, allowing a return to a full range of motion without pain.  When coupled with stretches, guasha and acupuncture have proven to successfully treat frozen shoulder without any of the risks or toxicity involved with other methods.

Torn rotator cuff is just that: a partial or complete tear in the tendons or muscle fibers of your shoulder. Overuse is one of the main causes: jobs that require heavy lifting and/or sports that require repeated overhead arm motions, like pitching a baseball.  Common treatment options include cortisone injections, electrical stimulation, and surgery in more severe cases. Trigger point needling has proven to be especially effective in reducing pain, as injured muscles tend to contract and form knots, which pinch nerves and decrease blood and lymphatic fluids to the injury site. Triggering a muscle releases the knots, reducing pain and allowing healing to commence.

Acupuncture is also an effective option in treating torn rotator cuff as an alternative to, or after, surgery. A tear can successfully heal with the combination of therapies including acupuncture. Post surgery, acupuncture, when used with the electric stimulation, can help stimulate tissue growth and generate muscle healing.

These are the tools we use at Rivertown Acupuncture to help you heal your shoulder and give you pain relief.