When you think about it, our bodies are capable of extraordinary feats that we tend to not even realize. The variety of systems that work in unison to get us through the day are complex, and that can sometimes lead to significant damage. One in particular that affects hundreds of thousands of Americans is frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis.
Research published in Pain Medicine journal has now shown that acupuncture can assist in alleviating this painful condition.
In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind study carried out by researchers at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany, real acupuncture was proven to be much more effective at pain relief than a placebo.
Of the 60 participants, those who were randomly selected to receive actual distal needling acupuncture displayed immediate improvement in their shoulder. This technique is what we employ here at the clinic and involves the insertion of needles at sites on the body away from the area of concern. Acupuncture at the place of pain is referred to as local needling.
These results provide “evidence that acupuncture has a specific impact on AC beyond the placebo effects that may not only be beneficial in reducing short-term pain perception, but may also have a positive long-term influence on the time course of recovery,” the researchers wrote. The Mayo Clinic also recommends the use of acupuncture for treating the problem.
Frozen shoulder is a condition characterized by pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint due to inflammation. It can be caused by a combination of movements that together exert the shoulder to the end of its range of motion. This can include reaching for a car seat strap or twisting your arm toward a back pocket. For many sufferers the pain progresses over time and is typically worse at night.
What are the risk factors? It’s estimated that you’re 20% more likely to experience frozen shoulder if you have diabetes. Shoulder surgeries and/or injuries also increase the likelihood of frozen shoulder.
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