Is My Shoulder Frozen?

This is a true problem and is medically known as “Adhesive Capsulitis.”

Your shoulder joint has a capsule of soft tissue surrounding the joint to enhance the stability of the joint and prevent the shoulder from dislocating.

Unfortunately, that capsule can become super tight and sort of stick to itself; hence, the “adhesive” part of the diagnosis.

Think about this way:

Look at the shirt you are wearing and take the fabric of the shirt in your armpit and hold on to it – now try to raise your arm. Do you feel your shirt restricting your shoulder motion?

That’s a very basic way to describe adhesive capsulitis.

Why do they call it frozen shoulder?

BECAUSE YOUR SHOULDER ACTUALLY FEELS FROZEN OR STUCK LIKE IT WON’T MOVE.

Adhesive capsulitis typically goes through 4 phases:

Phase 1

  • Inflammation and synovial fluid that lubricates the joint reacts
  • Duration = 0-3 months

Phase 2

  • Start to lose range of motion and mobility of the shoulder
  • Synovial...
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How a Shoulder Injury Can Create Back Pain

A few years ago, a middle-aged gentleman came to his physical therapy session because he was having back pain. After evaluating him, I learned that his back pain also created frequent “zinger-like” sharp shooting pain down his left leg. After about 3 sessions, his pain in his back and left leg were getting better and he was progressing exactly as I had predicted. This is great, right?

WRONG! He had no idea what had caused his back problem in the first place – which meant it was difficult for me to figure out the root cause of the problem so that I could really help his problem go away and not come back again.

During his 4th session, I was providing a special hands-on nerve treatment technique to his left leg while he was laying on his stomach. This technique, called the Myokinesthetic System™ was working very well in reducing the number of episodes of sharp shooting left leg pain. He was just chatting about how 2 years prior his right shoulder...

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Which Bones, Joints and Muscles Do You Want to Keep?

Chances are you’ve come across the old dental health adage: “Floss the teeth you want to keep.” The first time you spotted this sign in a dental office or heard the phrase uttered word-for-word by the dentist probably elicited a giggle or a snarky remark. But once the humor of it washed away, you more than likely had an a-ha moment. It just makes so much sense, doesn’t it?

Let’s try to apply this principle to other parts of the human body: What if you only stretched the muscles you wanted to keep? What if you performed weight-bearing exercises to maintain the strength of just a few of your more than 200 muscles? This is an extreme example, of course, but without the guidance of a physical therapist, it’s possible that some parts of your musculoskeletal system may be inadvertently neglected.

Physical therapists are trained to identify and treat a wide range of movement disorders including sports injuries such as sprains and strains as well as...

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Why Your Head Feels as Heavy as a Bowling Ball

Imagine carrying a bowling ball
in your hand all day.

Do you think you would get a little tired of doing that?

Well, that’s exactly what your neck muscles are doing all day.

And, if your posture is poor then your neck muscles could be doing even extra lifting!

I see this all the time in my office. A patient arrives with complaints like “my neck hurts”, “my head feels heavy”, “it hurts to lift my head out of the wash basin at the salon – I have to use my hand to help lift my head”, or even “I feel like I sleep on my neck wrong every morning”

The “neck hurts” or the “I slept on my neck wrong” is typically associated with muscle or joint issues where the muscles are tight and the joints are often stuck. Either way, you can’t move your head the way you want.

The heavy head is often a result of poor posture over time. For example, we live in a very technological society. We lean over our...

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“Do I Have To Have Surgery If I Have A Herniated Disc?”

This is a common question I hear from patients who arrive in my office having just visited the physician and learned that they have a herniated disc. They see the x-ray of the spine. They see the MRI or may be the CT-scan. Then get inundated with a lot of information where they don’t understand all the big words AND all of that combined can seem pretty scary and confusing. They often leave not the physician office not really knowing what to do next.

What exactly is a herniated disc?

Rather than get all fancy with big medical words, the best way to describe a herniated disc is to think of a jelly donut. The outer donut part is the outer portion of your disc and the jelly part of the donut is the gel-like substance in the inner part of the disc.

A herniated disc has different levels of complexity. Less complex means that the jelly is starting to bulge into the donut part but you can’t see the jelly yet. Moderately complex means that the jelly is bulging more and...

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Celebrating National Physical Therapy Month

October is Physical Therapy Month, so I would be remiss if I didn’t share how amazing this profession really is. What also amazes me is that so many people don’t really know or understand what physical therapists actually do.

When people think of physical therapy, they often think of a person who had surgery going to rehabilitation or an athlete in rehabilitation trying to get back to their sport.

PHYSICAL THERAPY IS SO MUCH MORE THAN REHAB AND SPORTS!

Yes, I am shouting aloud – not in anger or hostility – but in a loving fun and kind way because I admit that my profession does a poor job of teaching people about what we do

I want to change that.

Did you know that physical therapists like myself are back and neck specialists?

  • I know how to use 5 different levels of mobilizations to move the joints of the spine - this sometimes creates a “pop” and sometimes it doesn’t; although the “pop” sounds like something cool just happened,...
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