Total Harmony Medicine

Frozen shoulder

Effectiveness of acupuncture in frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder is one of the prevalent and painful joint disorders which is being found in 2-5% of the people of the society in the age range of 40-60. That is to say that this disease is scarce among children, also women suffer less than men, but there is no known race or genetic intention about this disorder. This disease is prevalent among patients suffering from diabetes, both dependant and independent of insulin; and also among pre-diabetes patients. This disease forms up with activation of inflation mechanisms in the glenohumeral joint accompanied by synovial tissue inflation and will cause symptoms such as pain, movement limitations of joint, as well as muscle weakness without tangible disorders such as structural defects in the anatomy of the joint (fracture and dislocation).

Surgery methods and anesthesia manipulation, Intra-articular injection of corticosteroids and neural blocking of suprascapular nerve, are other approaches to heal the frozen shoulder. Review and meta-analysis articles have not reported any privilege about any of these approaches. Therefore, still in the new studies, the influence of different therapies on healing frozen shoulder is being surveyed, and one of them is acupuncture. Acupuncture is an approach used from 5000 years ago to heal disorders; and since it is safer than medical treatments and has less side effects, is being used nowadays to cure many types of diseases in the modern medicine, specifically to remedy of chronic joint pains.

Acupuncture is a method in which piercing certain spots of the body using very thin needles causes a pain relief or treating a certain problem of the patient. These needles are disposable and the material is stainless steel; and are slightly thicker than human`s hair. There are reports from WHO, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), and American Medical Association (AMA) that all declare effectiveness of acupuncture for treating many types of diseases.

In the case of treating the frozen shoulder using the acupuncture, we realized that totally the implementation of acupuncture causes an improvement in movements of the shoulder in the patients suffering from frozen shoulder.

Regarding the results obtained from various investigations, we found that in the case of the improvement of shoulder movements in patients, after 1.5 months of starting treatment and also after 3 months, active and inactive movements in flexion and abduction directions were significantly improved for the above movements compared to the past. In the general case, the implementation of acupuncture causes a great improvement in shoulder movements, but the improvement was more significant in flexion and abduction movements. Therefore, the implementation of acupuncture can be offered as an approach to improve shoulder movements in patients suffering from frozen shoulder.

In 2005, about physical treatment, Johnson et al started a research from the RCT type, entitled ‘’the effect of acupuncture versus ultrasound in the patients suffering from Shoulder impingement syndrome’’. 85 patients with this syndrome diagnosis were treated with acupuncture and ultrasound randomly; also both groups were under sport therapy plans. Though there were symptoms of improvement in both groups, but the acupunctured group experienced improvement over 12 months. In our study, considering sport therapy which was performed during the acupuncture for both groups daily, it was shown that acupunctured group had more improvement in shoulder joint movements.

Generally, acupuncture causes improvement of all movements of the shoulder, but about flexion and abduction the improvement was evaluated to be more. Also the VAS index had improved after 3 months after remedy comparing to the control group, and eventually the acupuncture can be offered as a method to improve the movement of the shoulder in patients suffering from frozen shoulder.

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