Is a condition where the shoulder becomes very painful and stiff. It affects one in 50 adults at some stage in their life and most commonly affects the non-dominant shoulder. In some cases, the condition develops in the other shoulder at some stage. It is not a form of arthritis. It is a self-limiting condition which means it can get better without treatment in an average of two years, but for a few people, it could be several years. It is not very clear what causes the frozen shoulder but people with diabetes and previous shoulder injuries or surgeries are more likely to develop a frozen shoulder. The shoulder becomes painful when the capsule around the shoulder become inflamed and the shoulder becomes stiffer as the tissue becomes tighter and it shrinks.
It is often not clear what exactly causes this condition. An arm injury or surgery can lead to a frozen shoulder, as well as an inflammation of the muscle, and tendons, such as rotator cuff tendinitis or bursitis can contribute and cause the shoulder to become frozen.
Typical symptoms of frozen shoulder are pain, stiffness and loss of movement of the affected shoulder.
This condition typically has three stages:
Stage 1-Freezing stage Is the most painful stage. People also start to feel stiffness and loss of mobility in this stage. The shoulder can be very painful at night affecting sleep. This can last from two to nine months.
Stage 2-Frozen stage: Usually pain eases during this stage, but the stiffness remains the same so some of the activities like getting dressed can be painful. Reaching to overhead cupboard, scratching your back or putting your hand in your rear pocket may become impossible. This stage can last for four to six months.
Stage 3-Thawing stage: Shoulder motion slowly starts to improve to normal or near normal and typically can take up to two years for the symptoms to settle
By listening to your symptoms, and history and by checking your shoulder movements, your physiotherapist will be able to diagnose a frozen shoulder.
The symptoms generally get better on its own with time, however, simple treatment like pain medication and physiotherapy often helps to control pain and restore shoulder movements.
To control pain, you can also apply ice packs wrapped in towels or heat packs to your shoulder for 15-20 minutes two or three times a day.
Therapeutic exercises are helpful to restore the movements and strengthen the shoulder.
Why is Frozen Shoulder a big thing?
Frozen shoulder (also called adhesive capsulitis) is a common disorder that causes pain, stiffness, and loss of normal range of motion in the shoulder. This disability can be serious, if left untreated as it may cause pain, loss of mobility reduced range of motion and tends to get worse with time if it's not treated.
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