Osteopathy: Using fascia techniques to treat frozen shoulder
Frozen shoulder is a common problem and difficult to treat. A common model notably used by osteopaths is the use and understanding of the fascial system within the body. This is a system that has received a lot of attention over the last few decades, involving the release of tension found within in the fascial network system throughout the body.
A german study conducted by Fink et al 2012 looked into how the fascial system could be used and applied for the treatment of frozen shoulder. The RCT involved a total of 60 patients split into two groups; one group receiving ‘conventional’ manual therapy (n = 30) and the other receiving manual therapy based on a fascial distortion model.
The study involved monitoring pain and mobility for each group following treatment. Both groups showed showed substantial and significant improvement where improvement was significantly more marked in the fascia manual therapy groupp as compared to the MT group where the effects occurred significantly faster.
Post-treatment observation also revealed a greater improvement in shoulder abduction as compared to the conventional MT group. Secondary outcome parameters (raw force, functional handicap, and pain) showed a significant improvement in both groups but a significantly better result in patients treated with fascial manual therapy technique.
The study concluded that fascial manual therapy techniques for frozen shoulder is an effective modality with swift onset of action and acceptable side effects that is superior to conventional manual therapy.