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Shoulder treatment gave me my life back; Frozen shoulder was a painful and debilitating condition with no cure - until now. Simeon Niel-Asher was Kathy's last hope before risky surgery. And it worked.

Byline: JILL PALMER

KATHY Hill would regularly break down in floods of tears from the excruciating pain and crippling stiffness in her right shoulder.

It kept her awake at night, made it difficult to lift her arm and impossible to carry anything.

Kathy, 40, a model and mum of 11-year-old twins, tried osteopathy, physiotherapy, manipulation, and two cortisone injections.

Nothing worked. Although the injections relieved the pain and stiffness temporarily both times, it returned even worse than before.

In despair, Kathy, from North London, was on the verge of undergoing manipulation under anaesthetic, a procedure which runs the risk of significant injury including dislocation and nerve damage.

Then she heard of a local osteopath who had pioneered a new technique for "frozen shoulder."

The Niel-Asher technique involves gradual stretching and applying pressure to tissues around the stiffened joint in a bid to "defrost" the shoulder.

After just one session Kathy noticed a major improvement. Four sessions later the pain and stiffness had been cured completely.

"I was amazed," said Kathy. "It was a last try before I resorted to surgery.

"I used to cry with the pain it was so severe.

"I did a lot of yoga and dance but had to give it all up.

"As a professional model I use my arms all the time and it made it very difficult to carry out some of my modelling work. I had such limited movement in my right arm.

"I had seen a physiotherapist about 30 times, had been to two other osteopaths and a manipulative therapist and my GP had given me two cortisone injections, all to no avail.

"I had spent a lot of money and was no better than when I started.

"I was desperate and when the surgeon told me he wanted to manipulate my shoulder under anaesthetic I was scared.

"This new treatment gave me back my life."

Frozen shoulder affects one in 20 people, mainly women.

It often appears for no apparent reason although it has been linked to the menopause and poor posture. One study indicated that long-standing round-shouldered posture causes a shortening in one of the shoulder ligaments which, in turn, causes frozen shoulder.

The condition leads to progressive stiffening and muscle wasting and mobility range can fall to just 10 per cent of normal.

Treatment has, until now, at best offered temporary relief, at worst caused severe complications.

A report in the Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin two years ago said that: "No treatment has been demonstrated either to reduce the duration or severity of frozen shoulder syndrome."

Osteopath Simeon Niel-Asher developed his technique after being asked to treat the mother of a close friend.

"Frozen shoulder can happen for no reason at all or be triggered by a simple action such as putting on a jacket.

"It is a nightmare condition and I had always refused to try and treat it because I knew that nothing was completely effective," he says.

"It affects almost every tissue of the shoulder joint and treatment was always a bit hit and miss.

"It could give temporary relief but not cure the condition.

"But this lady was insistent so I gave it a try. I just used my initiative in developing a physical technique. It was trial and error.

"It involved a specific pattern of treatment, manipulating the pressure point in a specific sequence, a type of recipe with each treatment re-enforcing the last. And it worked."

SIMEON'S technique at treating frozen shoulder became so successful that he decided to write a self-help guide, which he publishes himself, aimed at sufferers who are unable to travel to his North London clinic.

"I would always advise anyone to seek a diagnostic opinion from a qualified medical practitioner before using my method.

"Several conditions can mimic a frozen shoulder and some of them may require more serious medical attention," says Simeon, who also treats other conditions such as back and neck pain, sports injuries and migraine.

"But once you have been diagnosed as having a frozen shoulder this technique has been proven to be effective.

"Although it seems to work best after four to six months of symptoms, due to the massive amount of swelling in the first three months."

Kathy was so delighted with her treatment she agreed to pose for the cover of the book and be photographed undergoing treatment with Simeon.

Simeon's success has also led to a clinical trial at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge comparing his technique to physiotherapy and basic massage.

Patients with frozen shoulder were either treated by Simeon Niel-Asher, by a physiotherapist, or given massage and home exercises.

The results, to be announced at the Society of Rheumatology Conference in Manchester in April, are expected to show a significant improvement in a range of motion with the Niel-Asher technique.

-Daily Mirror readers can purchase a copy of Simeon's book Treat Your Own Frozen Shoulder for a reduced price of pounds 19.95 (including p&p) instead of pounds 49.

Send your cheque to Simeon Niel-Asher, The London Frozen Shoulder Clinic, 108 Swains Lane, Highgate, London N6 6BJ. Tel 020 8347 6160. For more information visit the website www.frozenshoul der.com

CAPTION(S):

ON A LIMB: Simeon demonstrates his technique on Kathy. Far left, his book; Picture: ROGER ALLEN
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Title Annotation:M Health
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 20, 2003
Words:880
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