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Understanding Frozen Shoulder: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

As a physiotherapist, I often encounter patients grappling with the debilitating effects of frozen shoulder. This condition, clinically known as adhesive capsulitis, can significantly impair shoulder mobility and cause persistent pain. In this blog post, we'll delve into what frozen shoulder is, its common symptoms, and effective treatment strategies to help you navigate this challenging condition.


What is Frozen Shoulder? Frozen shoulder is a condition characterized by stiffness, pain, and limited range of motion in the shoulder joint. It typically develops gradually and progresses through three stages: freezing, frozen, and thawing. During the freezing stage, individuals experience increasing pain and stiffness in the shoulder, making everyday tasks difficult. The frozen stage is marked by persistent stiffness and limited mobility, while the thawing stage involves gradual improvement in symptoms over time.


Frozen Shoulder, Physio Near me, Shoulder Pain

Common Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder:

  1. Persistent shoulder pain, often worsening at night

  2. Stiffness and limited range of motion, particularly when reaching overhead or behind the back

  3. Difficulty performing daily activities such as dressing, reaching, or lifting objects

  4. Gradual onset of symptoms, with progression through distinct stages over several months to years


What Causes Frozen Shoulder? While the exact cause of frozen shoulder remains unclear, several factors may contribute to its development:

  1. Injury or trauma to the shoulder area, leading to inflammation and subsequent adhesion formation within the joint capsule

  2. Prolonged immobilization or lack of use of the shoulder joint, such as after surgery or prolonged bed rest

  3. Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, or autoimmune diseases, which may increase the risk of developing frozen shoulder


Frozen Shoulder Physio. Physical Therapy

Treatment Options for Frozen Shoulder: Managing frozen shoulder typically involves a combination of conservative treatments aimed at reducing pain, improving mobility, and promoting recovery.

Here are some effective treatment options:

  1. Physiotherapy: A tailored exercise program focused on stretching and strengthening the shoulder muscles can help improve range of motion and alleviate pain. Physiotherapists may also utilize manual therapy techniques to mobilize the shoulder joint and release tight tissues.

  2. Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications may provide temporary relief from shoulder pain and discomfort.

  3. Surgery: In rare cases where conservative treatments fail to provide relief, surgical intervention may be considered to release tight tissues and restore shoulder mobility.


What to Do If You Have Frozen Shoulder: If you suspect you have frozen shoulder or are experiencing symptoms such as persistent shoulder pain and stiffness, it's essential to seek professional medical advice promptly. A physiotherapist can assess your condition, provide a comprehensive diagnosis, and develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs. By addressing frozen shoulder early and implementing appropriate interventions, you can improve your shoulder mobility, alleviate pain, and regain function over time.


Frozen shoulder can be a challenging condition to navigate, but with the right approach to treatment and rehabilitation, significant improvements can be achieved. As physiotherapists, our goal is to empower individuals with the knowledge and tools to manage their symptoms effectively and promote long-term shoulder health. If you're experiencing shoulder pain or stiffness, don't hesitate to reach out to a qualified healthcare professional for evaluation and guidance on the best course of action. Remember, early intervention is key to a successful recovery from frozen shoulder.

 

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