Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


My doctor wants to manipulate my shoulder because it's "frozen" and won't move. Can't I just work on this myself and get the motion back slowly?


You can, but it can take years of daily exercises to make a difference. Often the joint just doesn't move properly or fully as it should even after a serious rehab program. If the problem is severe enough, chronic pain and loss of motion can lead to shoulder stiffness that gets in the way of doing daily activities.

A doctor at Washington University in St. Louis reports a new, safe, and effective treatment for frozen shoulder. It's called translation manipulation. It's meant to replace traditional joint manipulation done under anesthesia.

TM requires a local nerve block that numbs the entire area, but doesn't require the patient to be fully sedated or asleep. The doctor applies a force through the joint to restore normal sliding and gliding of the shoulder.

This treatment method helps open up space in and around the joint and reduces pressure through the joint. Only one joint is moved at a time. The force of TM does not hurt the nearby soft tissues and other nearby joints.

Jeffrey D. Placzek, MD, PT, et al. Theory and Technique of Translational Manipulation for Adhesive Capsulitis. In The American Journal of Orthopedics. April 2004. Vol. 33. No. 4. Pp. 173-179.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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