Frozen Shoulder: Quick Relief For Frozen Shoulder

Adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder is a condition that is very painful and debilitating in which shoulder movements are very limited and even small routine tasks become impossible. Inside the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint contracts and forms scar tissues. The pain is constant and certain movements can cause sudden excruciating pain and cramping that can last several minutes. In addition to difficulty with everyday tasks, people who suffer from adhesive capsulitis usually experience problems sleeping because of the pain to get worse at night, resulting in chronic fatigue, depression, pain in the neck and back, as well as damage to the surrounding tissue.

Frozen shoulder affects about two percent of the general population. It most commonly affects patients between the ages of 40 and 60 years old, is more common in women and most affecting non-dominant shoulder.

This condition, the exact cause is unknown, can last from five months to 3 or 4 years or more and are expected in some cases are caused by injury or trauma to the area. Frozen shoulder occurs more frequently in patients with diabetes, chronic inflammatory arthritis shoulder, or after chest or breast surgery. Long-term immobility of the shoulder joint can put people at risk.

Shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. Ball of the upper arm bone (humeral head) and the socket is part of the scapula (glenoid). Surrounding it with a ball-and-socket joint capsule surrounding tissue. Typically, the shoulder joint allows more motion than any other joint in the body. When a patient develops frozen shoulder, the capsule that surrounds the shoulder joint becomes contracted. The patients form bands of scar tissue called adhesions. The contraction of the capsule and the formation of adhesions cause the frozen shoulder to become stiff and cause movement to be very painful.

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Shoulder Pain – Frozen Shoulder

3 Stages Of Frozen Shoulder:

  • Stage one: The “freezing” or painful stage, which may last from six weeks to nine months, and where the patient has a slow onset of pain. As the pain worsens, the shoulder loses motion.
  • Stage two: Stage “frozen” or adhesive is characterized by a slow increase in pain but the stiffness remains. This stage generally lasts four months to nine months.
  • Stage three: The “thawing” or recovery, when shoulder motion slowly returns to normal. This generally lasts five months to 26 months.But range of motion may not be returned.

Treatments For Frozen Shoulder

Treatment may be painful and heavy and consists of medication, physical therapy. Physical therapy is very important at all stages of Adhesive capsulitis, despite aggravating some amount of inflammation and pain, as it will prevent further loss of range and painful contractures. Diligent physical therapy is often the key and can include ultrasound electrical stimulation, range-of-motion exercise maneuvers, ice packs, and eventually strengthening exercises. Physical therapy can take weeks to months to recover, depending on the severity of the scarring of the tissues around the shoulder. Pain and inflammation can be controlled with analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Sometimes frozen shoulders are resistant to treatment. Patients with resistant frozen shoulder can be considered for release of scar tissue by arthroscopic surgery or manipulation of the shoulder under anesthesia scar. Manipulation is done to physically break up the scar tissue of the joint capsule. It carries the risk of breaking the arm bone (humerus fracture). It is very important for patients with manipulation to participate actively in the training program for the shoulder after the procedure. Only with continued shoulder exercises that mobility and function is optimised.

Need Consultation for Frozen Shoulder?  Please contact us by calling (65) 64762106 or Schedule an Appointment here on our website. Our professional orthopaedic specialist, Dr. Kevin Yip, has more than 20 years experience. Be assured that you will be receiving professional treatments that suit your needs. Consultations are covered by most insurance.

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