Frozen Shoulder

What is a Frozen Shoulder?

A frozen shoulder is a shoulder joint with significant loss of its range of motion in all directions.

A frozen shoulder is medically referred to as adhesive capsulitis.

Frozen Shoulder Facts

  • Frozen shoulder is the result of scarring, thickening, and shrinkage of the joint capsule.
  • Any injury to the shoulder can lead to a frozen shoulder.
  • A frozen shoulder is usually diagnosed during an examination.
  • A frozen shoulder usually requires aggressive treatment.

What Causes a Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is the result of inflammation, scarring, thickening, and shrinkage of the capsule that surrounds the normal shoulder joint.

Any injury to the shoulder can lead to a frozen shoulder, including tendinitis,bursitis, and rotator cuff injury (rotator cuff syndrome).

Frozen shoulders occur more frequently in patients with risk factors of diabetes chronic inflammatory arthritis of the shoulder, or after chest or breast surgery.

Long-term immobility of the shoulder joint can put people at risk to develop a frozen shoulder.

What are the Symptoms and Signs of a Frozen Shoulder?

Symptoms and signs of a frozen shoulder include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Loss of range of motion of the shoulder.
  • The shoulder range of motion is limited
  • The shoulder can develop increased pain with use.
  • These symptoms can make sleep very uncomfortable.

There are three stages of frozen shoulder

  • Painful stage – the shoulder becomes stiff and then very painful with movement. Movement becomes limited. Pain typically worsens at night.
  • Frozen/adhesive stage – the shoulder becomes increasingly stiff, severely limiting range of motion. Pain may not diminish, but it does not usually worsen.
  • Thawing stage – movement in the shoulder begins to improve. Pain may fade, but occasionally recur.

Contributing Factors to the Development of a Frozen Shoulder

Some of these factors may include:

  • Inappropriate treatment following shoulder injury or surgery (particularly inadequate or excessive rest)
  • Auto-immune disease
  • Poor posture
  • Age – being over 40 years of age.
  • Gender – 70% of people with frozen shoulder are women.
  • Recent surgery or arm fracture – immobility of recovery may cause the shoulder capsule to stiffen.
  • Diabetes – two to four times more likely to develop frozen shoulder for unknown reasons; symptoms may be more severe.
  • Having suffered a stroke.
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
  • Cardiovascular disease (heart disease).
  • Parkinson’s disease.

Treatment Options for a Frozen Shoulder

Treatment for people with this condition is vital to hasten the healing process and ensure an optimal outcome.

Treatment may comprise of:

  • Soft tissue massage
  • Electrotherapy (e.g. ultrasound, TENS)
  • Joint mobilization
  • Dry needling
  • Ice or heat treatment
  • Exercises to improve flexibility, strength and posture
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Education
  • Activity modification advice
  • Postural correction
  • Anti-inflammatory advice
  • Devising and monitoring an appropriate return to activity plan

Treatment Recommendation

Frequent, gentle exercise can prevent and even reverse stiffness in the shoulder.

During your visit your condition will be assessed and steps taken to assist with your rehabilitation. After the session FREE muscle stretching sheets can be provided to assist with healing your injury. It is recommended that you continue these exercises at home to speed up the healing process. To book in for a session, please call Jade Tran on 0425 444 304. I hope you found the article helpful in further understanding your symptoms. Any opinions expressed within my articles/blog are from my personal perspective, not that of my Professional Associations / Educational Institutions
.Articles are intended to convey information only and should not being misconstrued as medical advice. If you have any concerns regard to medical matter, you need to consult a professional healthcare provider.

 I will not compensate you in any way what so ever should you happen to suffer death/injury/loss/inconvenience/damage due to the information contain in this article.