Frozen shoulder is a typical condition in which the shoulder hardens, which reduces mobility.

There has been ambiguity about frozen shoulder and arthritis. Frozen shoulder refers categorically to the shoulder joint, while arthritis may apply to multiple joints. Frozen shoulder can affect one or both shoulders.

With visible conditions, you may need physiotherapy.

In this article, we will talk about everything that you need to know about frozen shoulder:

What are the symptoms?

A person with a frozen shoulder will have a consistent pain followed by the shoulder joints getting stiff.

There are three stages for Frozen Shoulder:

  • Freezing, or painful stage 

In this initial stage, the pain increases gradually, making shoulder motion harder and harder. Pain tends to be worse at night. This stage can last from 9 weeks to 9 months.

  • Frozen stage

In the second stage, the shoulder remains stiff. It can last from 12 months, and movement may be restricted.

  • Thawing stage

In this stage, shoulder movement may become flexible again. Pain may fade but occasionally recur. That takes between 20 to 24 months.

What causes Frozen Shoulder

Below are the common causes of frozen shoulder: 

  • Stroke
  • Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid
  • Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Parkinson’s disease

The risk factors for frozen shoulder are:

  • Age: Being over 40 years of age.
  • Gender: Women are some susceptible to frozen shoulder
  • Recent trauma: Surgery or an arm fracture often leads to immobility during recovery, and this results in the thickening of the shoulder capsule.
  • Diabetes: About 15 to 20 percent of people with diabetes develop a frozen shoulder.

What are the various Frozen Shoulder treatments?

  There are four main treatment methods: 

  1. Anti-inflammatory medications 

Medications play an immense role, and these include analgesics, anti-inflammatories, and sometimes medicines to assist with sleeping.

  1. Physical Therapy

Physiotherapy is powerful, but the impact depends on the phase of the frozen shoulder.

In the initial stages, the physiotherapy exercises focus on maintaining movement, flexibility, and strength to avoid further stiffness. 

  1. Corticosteroid  injections

 These injections are usually given using a sterile technique.

  1. Shoulder manipulations and Surgery

A manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) is the common Frozen Shoulder treatment technique for a simple frozen shoulder. The shoulder is moved through a range of motion, which causes the capsule and scar tissue to stretch.  

During the treatment procedure, 2 to 3 holes are made in the shoulder. 

The thickened capsule tissue is cut and removed. Thus the tight capsule releases, which allows the increase in range of motion. 

 It is an effective treatment for stiff shoulder after injury, trauma, or fracture, and diabetes.

The benefits of Frozen Shoulder Physiotherapy

The benefits of frozen shoulder physiotherapy vary according to the stage of the frozen shoulder you experience. 

For the first phase, assisted range-of-motion exercises can help prevent loss of movement, and various pain-reducing methods can sometimes help. 

In the second phase, treatment may become more efficient. Although the shoulder is still very stiff, physical therapy can become more active as the pain recedes.

The goal for physiotherapists is to retain and regain as much motion as possible.

Therapy can be more aggressive and is better tolerated for the final phase, which can last up to 24 months. 

 Conclusion

If you experience a frozen shoulder, schedule an appointment with us. 

We can assess the stage of the condition and create a particular physiotherapy to get you back to full range of motion as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

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