Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) can be an extremely limiting and frustrating condition.  Generally considered idiopathic (which means we don’t know why it happens), it is a severe limitation in shoulder range of motion, often accompanied by pain.  Treatment can include Physical Therapy, soft tissue therapy, injections of things like cortisone, and even aggressive manipulation under anesthesia to break up adhesions.  Results are often underwhelming and the condition can persist for 2 years or more and then sometimes will get better on its own.  There really is no gold standard for care yet.

Francis Murphy, D.C and his colleagues at OTZ Health Education (http://otzhealthed.com/) have been teaching a different approach to frozen shoulder.  The results are so good that in many cases, even with the pre and post treatment videos on their website and a published 50 case series paper (J Chiropr Med. Dec 2012; 11(4): 267–272.), they are almost unbelievable.  Even with this information, until I saw the results first hand (multiple and including a case study I brought), I was very skeptical.

Here is the promo video for OTZ including Hawaiian shirts (and a moustache?):

Making a complicated and long story short, Dr. Murphy’s hypothesis is that a specific mis-alignment and malfunction of the joint where the base of your skull rests on your neck is causing many of these frozen shoulder cases.  This issue resulted in inhibition of the muscles responsible for the surprisingly complicated task of raising your shoulder.  Restoring proper mobility (and therefore function) to this joint restores the function of the shoulder complex as well.  In a short course of care, including specific exercises to rebuild the movement patterns, many cases see remarkable improvement.

Chiropractors all over the world are now being trained by this group.  If you are looking for a local option, Dr. Danielle Pickering, Dr. Dean Collins, Dr. Alan Jeffels, Dr. Craig Wing, and Dr. Kevin Watson all took the training.   More trained docs can be found on the OTZ website as these are only the people I can recall off the top of my head.  I obviously took the training as well, and you know where to find us:)


Be Well,

Tyler Fix DC, CCWP