A review of 50 case studies involving chiropractors treating patients with frozen shoulder syndrome (FSS), also known as adhesive capsulitis, showed significant improvements in their condition.  The patients received chiropractic adjustments to their cervical spine (neck) and thoracic spine (spine).  Shoulder range of motion and a pain rating scale were used to measure progress.  

Out of the 50 cases reviewed, “16 resolved completely (100% improvement), 25 showed 75% to 90% improvement, 8 showed 50% to 75% improvement, and 1 showed 0% to 50% improvement.  “1

These patients saw improvement, although their shoulders were not directly treated.  How is that possible?  Chiropractic adjustments improve nervous system function.  The nerves that exit the cervical and thoracic spine, regulate the muscles that move and stabilize the shoulder.  When chiropractors adjust the bones of the spine, it has a profound impact on the nerves that pass through the spine.  This effect results in improved function of the shoulder muscles.

Dr. John Phelts has treated many patients with frozen shoulder syndrome successfully.  He performs adjustments to the spine, like those in the study.  He also employs other modalities that have been shown to improve FSS.  He also includes meridian therapy, exercise, muscle treatments, and applied kinesiology techniques in his frozen shoulder treatments.  He finds that his patients get better quicker using this combination of treatments.

If you are suffering from frozen shoulder, contact our office to set up an appointment:

Phelts Chiropractic PC

124 East 40th Street

Suite 301

New York, NY 10016


  1.  Chiropractic management of frozen shoulder syndrome using a novel technique: a retrospective case series of 50 patients.  Journal of Chiropractic 2012; 11: 267-72
  2. Hsu J.E., Anakwenze O.A., Warrender W.J., Abboud J.A. Current review of adhesive capsulitis. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2011;20:502–514. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

June 03, 2020