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Acupuncture Thaws a Frozen Shoulder

Sarah, a 57-year-old teacher, had been struggling with a painful frozen shoulder for over 6 months. The severe limitation in her shoulder’s range of motion and constant aching made daily activities like getting dressed, driving, and writing on the chalkboard extremely difficult. She had tried anti-inflammatory medication, cortisone injections, and physical therapy but saw minimal improvement.

Desperate for relief, Sarah decided to try acupuncture after hearing success stories from friends. Though she didn’t fully understand the ancient Chinese medicine practice, she figured it was worth exploring a new treatment approach.

Sarah began seeing a licensed acupuncturist twice a week. During each session, the acupuncturist inserted fine needles in specific points along Sarah’s shoulder, arm, upper back, and neck based on an assessment of her pain and mobility restrictions. The needles were left in for 20-30 minutes while Sarah relaxed.

After the first couple of weeks, Sarah noticed a slight improvement in her shoulder mobility and a reduction in her typical pain levels from 8/10 down to 6-7/10. The acupuncturist explained this was an encouraging early sign of her shoulder “thawing.”

With a glimmer of hope, Sarah continued getting acupuncture twice weekly for 2 more months. Gradually, her shoulder loosened up even more. By the end of the 8 weeks, her pain was down to 3-4/10 and she had regained about 80% of her normal shoulder range of motion.

Six months after starting acupuncture, Sarah was completely pain-free with full mobility restored to her previously frozen shoulder. She maintenance with monthly sessions and rated her overall improvement at 95%. Acupuncture had finally relieved her of the condition that physically therapists had struggled to overcome.

While results can vary per individual, Sarah’s case highlights how acupuncture can be an effective therapy for treating frozen shoulder when other conservative treatments fail to fully resolve the issue. The strategic needle placementhelped reduce inflammation, relax tight muscles, and restore proper energy flow to regain mobility.