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Resolution of Adhesive Capsulitis Following Subluxation Based Chiropractic Care: A Case Series & Selective Review of the Literature

Min Shin, D.C., Joel Alcantara, D.C.

Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ October 19, 2015 ~ Pages 167-171


Objective: To describe the chiropractic care of two patients with shoulder pain and restriction in motion.

Clinical Features: A 45-yr-old female and a 47-year-old male presented for chiropractic care with complaints of shoulder pain and dysfunction. The female patient injured her right shoulder following a fall. She did not receive medical care as her pain was tolerable. However, 2 months later, she could not move her right shoulder due to pain and experienced right-sided neck pain. Over-the-counter medication was ineffective. The male patient suffered from restricted shoulder motion following a motor vehicle collision 2 months prior. Physical therapy was ineffective and therefore sought chiropractic care.

Intervention and Outcome: Chiropractic adjustments characterized as high velocity, low amplitude thrusts applied exclusively to the C0-C1 joint complex was rendered to both patients. Ultrasound was applied to the male patient only following spinal adjustments to the upper cervical spine. Baseline and comparative measures of shoulder ROM and pain rating showed significant improvements in both patients.  

Conclusion: This case series provides support on the use of chiropractic adjustments directed to the upper cervical spine in patients with shoulder pain and dysfunction. We support further research in the care of similar patients.

Key words: Adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder, chiropractic adjustments, vertebral subluxation