By Mike DeDoncker
I’ve had a twinge in my right shoulder when bench pressing lately, but I wouldn’t say I have a problem.
Or I wouldn’t have said so before fulfilling an assignment to visit Rockford chiropractor R .G. Hotchkiss, who wrote to the Register Star a couple of weeks ago commending a treatment he’s found for nonspecific shoulder pain.
Hotchkiss’ treatment uses two tools developed by Atlanta, Ga. – based researcher Pat Belcher – the Trigger Wheel (registered trademark), a small metal wheel about 1/4-inch thick that rotates on a plastic grip and the Intracell (registered trademark), a row of hard plastic rings strung on an approximately 2-foot long flexible rod with plastic grips at either end.
“I had used so many different things for people with shoulder problems over the years,” said Hotchkiss, who added that pain is sometimes attributable to arthritis, frozen shoulder or a torn rotator cuff and other times no cause can be identified. “This has been so successful that I’ve thought of giving up the chiropractic end of it and just doing this treatment.”
The Trigger Wheel and Intracell were developed to treat complaints of unspecified muscular pains and that’s what Hotchkiss used them for until about four years ago, when a patient with shoulder pain said several doctors had been unable to find its cause.
“He indicated that there were areas of muscular soreness, but that he could feel the results of the Intracell in his fingers and arm on the same side as the shoulder complaint,” Hotchkiss said.
“The initial treatment resulted in a reduction of the shoulder pain, plus increased mobility. Continued treatment led to full relief and no return of the symptoms, and similar results have been repeated with hundreds of patients,” Hotchkiss said.
Here’s what he showed me.
We performed a test in which I pressed the tips of my thumb and pinkie finger together with palm up, palm perpendicular to the floor and palm down positions. I resisted as much as I could while Hotchkiss tried to pull the fingertips apart.
In the palm down position on my right hand, the fingertips came apart easily, leading Hotchkiss to believe I had a problem with two small muscles in my rotator cuff.
After having me lie face down, he rolled the Trigger Wheel across my left shoulder blade -no problem. The same action on my right shoulder blade produced shooting pains throughout my shoulder area.
He had me stand with my left shoulder against a wall and place my right hand atop my head. He rolled the Intracell across the shoulder blade and produced more pain. It took a couple more tries before the pain subsided and my shoulder felt better.
“I’ve never had this take fewer than five or more than 14 visits,” said Hotchkiss, adding that he wants a patient three times a week for each of the first two weeks. “The progress after the second week will determine the number of remaining visits. I want to make sure the ligaments and muscles are all in balance before I release them.”
The Trigger Wheel and a nonexclusive to healthcare providers version of the Intracell, called The Stick (registered trademark), also can be bought and used for self-massage of sore muscles, Hotchkiss said.
For more information, contact Hotchkiss at Metro Health Center, 461 N. Mulford Road, 815-227-1600 or Belcher at 800-554-1501 or online at www.intracell.info.