frozen shoulder acupoints

Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is a debilitating inflammatory and painful condition that generally affects your shoulder joint. This can occur when your shoulder tissue becomes tight and inflamed, making it tender and stiff to move naturally. Underusing or overusing your arm or shoulder muscles can cause a frozen shoulder which can last for months and even years.

To naturally treat frozen shoulder with acupuncture treatment which helps relieve pain and also inflammation by improving blood flow to your shoulder and increasing your range of motion. Let’s now know in detail about frozen shoulder, its causes, and its cure by acupuncture treatment. Here we go explaining all you need to know…

What Is Frozen Shoulder Syndrome?


Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is a condition that affects the area around the shoulder joint. Illness or injury can create the conditions that cause this disease, but people over middle-age tend to be the most vulnerable. Symptoms affect the shoulder and include pain, stiffness, and limited mobility.

Healing from a frozen shoulder is a slow process that can take years, so some degree of intervention is recommended. Often, when traditional medicine does not provide adequate treatment or patients object for other reasons, acupuncture may be the solution. This ancient Chinese healing method is based on the philosophy that there are energy pathways in the body. Experienced people can unblock these pathways by inserting needles into specific areas of the body.

Reasons For The Development Of Frozen Shoulder


  • Chronic infection, most often inflamed tonsils, sinuses, or bronchitis
  • Compression of the nerves of the brachial plexus serving the joint (osteochondrosis of the cervical spine)
  • Injury or unusual stress on the joints and muscles of the shoulder
  • Diseases of the internal organs
  • Without a proper blood supply, the tendon fibers become brittle, spasm, tear, swell and become inflamed.
  • Liver disease, in turn, can provoke the development of a frozen shoulder in the right shoulder.
  • Very often, frozen shoulder also occurs in women who have undergone surgery to remove the mammary gland. Sometimes this is because such an operation changes the blood flow in areas adjacent to the chest, and sometimes because important nerves or vessels may be affected during the operation.
  • A frequent outcome of frozen shoulder is the development of joint stiffness. Prolonged dysfunction of the shoulder joint leads to hypotrophy and atrophy of the deltoid muscle.

What Are The Trigger Points Of Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder

The trigger point is the taut spot and hyperirritable in the muscle, that causes typical pain, spasms, and irritation to your shoulder. These points can feel like muscle knots or small lumps and are caused by stress, injury, poor posture, muscle tension, or also overuse of shoulder muscles. The following trigger points can lead to chronic shoulder pain:

  • Trapezius
  • Deltoid
  • Supraspinatus
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres Major
  • Teres Minor
  • Subscapularis
  • Biceps Brachii
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Pectoralis Minor
  • Pectoralis Major

What Is The Best Way To Release The Trigger Points?


The most acceptable way to unleash trigger points is acupuncture treatment. This is also called dry needling. In this procedure, the acupuncturist will insert acupuncture needles into your shoulder’s trigger points which then nudge your tight muscle. Thus, your muscle softens as well as becomes more elongated and relaxed.

When your trigger points are properly released, more nutrients and blood can flow easily to the area and thus reducing acute pain in your shoulder and improving your range of motion.

Frozen Shoulder Acupuncture Treatment

Frozen shoulder acupuncture treatment

The main part of shoulder pain in the human body begins with the inflammation and when your shoulder is frozen. When needles are placed on acupuncture points or stiff muscles of your frozen shoulder, the hormone adenosine, being a powerful natural anti-inflammatory agent, begins to be released and immediately relieves pain.

Moreover, acupuncture is great for natural shoulder pain treatment, improves blood circulation, reduces acute pain, and chronic pain, and forms the regenerative power (natural self-healing power) of the human body.

Acupuncture is the main treatment for pain relief. Acupuncturists use exclusive methods of treatment of the frozen shoulder. Acupuncturists find out acupuncture points and areas that cause severe pain and thus they can achieve the desired effect: relaxing muscles, relieving inflammation, improving blood circulation, and eliminating pain.

Acupuncture is a common form of alternative medicine used to treat a wide range of ailments, including muscle pain. Proponents of acupuncture for frozen shoulder and similar conditions claim that the therapy can relieve damaging tension in the muscular and skeletal areas.

What’s more, these benefits are achieved naturally and without the potentially harmful effects of conventional medical procedures. Some scientific evidence even supports the use of acupuncture for frozen shoulder.

The Miracle of Acupuncture And Natural Medicine


Scientific evidence may somewhat support this theory. A frozen shoulder is often characterized by painful and somewhat tender patches. Applying any type of pressure to these areas, including acupuncture needles, can often relieve chronic shoulder pain.

This effect may be due to the relaxation effect that puts so much pressure on tense muscles and joints in acupuncture therapy. Some more traditional forms of medicine even use a modified form of acupuncture with electrical stimulation rather than needles for the treatment of frozen shoulder.

Other scientific explanations may also support the healing effects of physical therapy like acupuncture to improve the range of motion in the frozen shoulder. Most scientists believe that there are forces in the body that can control pain and offer immediate pain relief. These materials are hormones, neurotransmitters, or natural pain-relieving endorphins.

Many clinical trials can agree with acupuncturists that inserting a needle can help treat pain. They simply believe that needle stimulation will unblock the release of the aforementioned materials by the nervous system in the acupuncture sessions.

Proponents of acupuncture for frozen shoulder point to the technique’s perceived success rate. In some studies, researchers claim that more than half of patients treated with acupuncture methods in a clinical trial run show dramatic improvement. In addition, they argue, that almost all patients show at least some degree of improvement in shoulder joint movements.

Many of these reports are about a form of acupuncture where needles are inserted at a specific point on the shoulder. There have also been studies that compare acupuncture with other forms of treatment, and these studies also seem to support the benefits of this therapy for external rotation.

Another suggested benefit of frozen shoulder acupuncture is its potential healing properties for the entire body. Acupuncture uses the suggested natural energy pathways in the body. Therefore, any insertions of the needles would theoretically go through various parts of the body, clearing negative material along the way. In addition, acupuncture can benefit overall health because it often takes less time and requires less rigorous treatment sessions than some other forms of treatment.


Some people prefer alternative therapies, such as acupuncture for frozen shoulder, because the methods are based on natural, holistic medicine. For example, pharmaceutical drugs often cause many unwanted side effects, and some drugs even pose a risk to the patient. On the contrary, the only serious risk of acupuncture arises if unsterilized needles are used or if inexperienced people use the method.

Otherwise, the side effects of acupuncture are virtually non-existent. Some people also object to the use of traditional medicine on spiritual or moral grounds, so acupuncture may provide a reasonable alternative.

Physicians often treat Frozen Shoulder patients with ultrasound waves or traditional Chinese medicine Acupuncture. Sometimes laser therapy, magnetotherapy, or shortwave diathermy are also incorporated to relieve pain from the shoulder joint. However, the efficacy of these treatments has been little studied. Therefore, for people with implants, these treatments are excluded.


Q. Is acupuncture effective for frozen shoulder?

A. Of course, acupuncture treatment along with natural medicine for frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis has proven to be effective. So, to increase the range of motion of your frozen shoulder you can try acupuncture treatment.

Q. How many sessions of acupuncture do I need for frozen shoulder?

A. Well, the number of acupuncture sessions depends on several factors like the condition of the patient, the stage of the disease, active and inactive movements of the patient, risk factors of the treatment of frozen shoulder, etc.

Generally, in the initial stage of adhesive capsulitis professional acupuncturist suggests patients get one or two sessions per week to improve the range of motion of the patient suffering from shoulder stiffness.

Q. What is the fastest way to heal a frozen shoulder?

A. That depends on the patient’s condition. There is nothing like one cure for all. For some patients suffering from frozen shoulder, acupuncture treatment works quickly, for some exercise therapy works perfectly, and for others, only natural medical treatments work the best.

Q. Can acupuncture help my shoulder pain?

A. Of course, acupuncture treatments can show clinical effectiveness for your shoulder pain if you choose to get treated by a professional licensed acupuncturist.

For more information and to book an appointment visit our pain management page.

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