OTZ Technique

OTZ Technique

OTZ Technique - Frozen Shoulder Treatment
Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the OTZ Technique?
The OTZ Technique is a unique analysis and manipulation of the joint between the occiput in the first cervical vertebra. The analysis involves a specific form of motion palpation of the above articulation as well as diagnosis through observation of specific postural distortions.  The term for the disorder has now been coined the “Hatcher Murphy Disorder”, or HMD.  This techique is very specialized and only Chiropractic Doctors are taught this procedure due to their expertise in Spinal Manipulation.

Manipulation of this joint is obtained through a technique not previously taught in any Chiropractic, Osteopathic or Manipulative Physical Therapy programs. The ultimate goal of this techique is to provide a powerful tool to treat specific types of Frozen Shoulder Syndrome (FSS), as well as a myriad of post-truama induced neurological symptoms (generally unresponsive to traditional Medical, Physiotherapy, or Chiropractic approaches).

2. What does “OTZ” mean?
In 2006 Dr. Francis X. Murphy, DC of Dallas, Texas developed this technique and named it after the binary code used in computer language, i.e., One To Zero.

3. What is theory behind OTZ?
Murphy discovered this misalignment of the occiput can cause an alteration to the proper “C” shape of the neck (lordosis), subsequently keeping the head unnaturally forward. This postrual alteration causes a tethering (adhesion) to the brainstem (at the top of the neck) which, in turn, restricts blood supply and tension to 11th Cranial Nerve (Spinal Accessory nerve – CN-11). Murphy found this combination of abberent conditions leads to postural changes that interferes with the patient’s ability to raise their arm.

What follows are all the classic collection of symptoms seen in a typical case of frozen shoulder syndrome — pain and loss of range of motion of the shoulder. By removing the CN-11 interference through OTZ manipulation, the function of the shoulder is restored. Quite often, the improved range of motion and decrease in pain is immediate and dramatic.  This treatment used in combination with regional treatment around the affected shoulder and soft tissue is a powerful combination offering a potential timely fix.

The most significant point to Murphy’s concept of treatment which separates it from all other FSS modalities is that OTZ treats frozen shoulder syndrome as a neurological condition, not an orthopedic condition.

4. What are some of the applications of the OTZ Technique?
The original application of this technique was to a patient suffering from Frozen Shoulder Syndrome (FSS). Dr. Murphy has personally resolved over 1000 cases of FSS, often very dramatically and quickly, using this technique.  For more information on how this technique is used to treat FSS: www.frozenshoulderdoctor.com

Since then he has been training providers from around the world who have duplicated his success. Dr. Michael Hall, DC, CCST, DABCN, FIACN, clinical neurology professor at Parker University in Dallas, Texas is part of the OTZ team. He has been helping Dr. Murphy understand the neurological implications of this powerful adjustment. It appears that some of its effects are on the brainstem nuclei. Dr. Murphy and other providers have used this information and clinically applied it to patients suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, Bell’s palsy, various types of headaches, vertigo and dizziness, smell and taste dysfunction, and other brainstem manifestations with great clinical success.  There has been promising findings, though not conclusive, regarding children that have contracted developmental issues.

5. Is there any research that backs up these clinical findings?
In April of 2011 Dr. Murphy along with co-authors Dr. Michael Hall DC and Dr. Anne Jensen DC were awarded a poster presentation of their first paper that was presentedat the prestigious World Federation of Chiropractic biennial event held in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. This paper was a 50 consecutive case retrospective review of patients suffering from frozen shoulder syndrome seen in Dr. Murphy’s office.  This paper has been published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine Volume 11 Number4 December 2012: www.journalchiromed.com/article/S1556-3707(12)00118-6/abstract

6. How many people suffer from Frozen Shoulder Syndrome?
Reputable websites such as www.mayoclinic.org suggests that up to 3% of the population suffers from frozen shoulder syndrome at any one time. That works out to approximately 9 million people in the United States alone! The average frozen shoulder patient ranges from 40 to 70 years old and it is more common in females than males. Frozen shoulder syndrome is subdivided into primary and secondary.

The most common form is the primary form, which is essentially idiopathic (develops spontaneously). Secondary frozen shoulder syndrome has been associated with a recent trauma or surgery, a recent immobilization of the affected shoulder, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, thyroid conditions, and cardiovascular conditions. Approximately 20% of the time a patient previously diagnosed with frozen shoulder syndrome can get the condition in the other shoulder.

The OTZ method of thinking leads us to suspect the likelihood of a series of repetitive events that have caused this shoulder problem. These could include sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and/or poor posture in a challenging ergonomic workplace, particularly people sitting for prolonged times at a computer.

Traditional treatments for FSS can include anti-inflammatory and pain medications, cortisone injections, physiotherapy, massage, acupuncture, soft tissue manipulation and even soft tissue manipulation while under anesthesia.  These procedures are lengthy, painful and can carry on for up to two years with no guarantee of a cure.