19 Feb FROZEN SHOULDER
The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, made up of bones, ligaments and tendons encased in a capsule of fibrous connective tissue.
Frozen shoulder, medically referred to as Adhesive Capsulitis, occurs when this capsule becomes thickened and inflamed and tightens around the shoulder joint, causing pain and stiffness in the shoulder. The condition may be debilitating, causing severe pain and restricting movement of the shoulder.
While the exact cause of a frozen shoulder is unclear, trauma or injury that keeps the shoulder is immobilized for a prolonged period puts one at higher risk (e.g. recovering from surgery, a broken or fractured arm; stroke; etc.)
Patients who have certain systemic diseases appear to be at higher risk of developing frozen shoulder. These include diabetes, hyper or hypothyroidism, tuberculosis, Parkinson’s or cardiovascular disease.
Restricted mobility of the shoulder is the key indicator, hindering daily activity such as driving, dressing, playing sport, lifting of and reaching for items. Patients may also experience a burning or prickling sensation, intense pain and inflammation of the shoulder joint. Given that the pain typically worsens during periods of inactivity, patients may struggle to get a good night’s sleep.
There are three stages of frozen shoulder, namely:
The “Freezing” stage – Movement of the shoulder will cause pain and the shoulder’s range of motion will start to become limited. These symptoms worsen over time.
The “Frozen” stage. while pain may start to diminish during this stage, the stiffness and limitations in movement remain, often becoming worse.
The “Thawing” stage – pain and stiffness gradually subsides and the restoration of one’s normal range of movement begins.
A number of other conditions (such as rotator cuff injury, osteo or rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis of the biceps tendon, etc.) present similar symptoms to that of a frozen shoulder so it is important to get the correct diagnosis from the outset. Early diagnosis and the development of a treatment plan may prevent the frozen shoulder from moving from the painful freezing stage (stage 1) to the restrictive frozen stage (stage 2).
The treatment of a frozen shoulder is focused on relieving pain, improving range of motion, and enabling the patient to regain strength and mobility.
An osteopathic approach is often effective and involves manipulation and inhibition of the pressure points that surround the affected shoulder to decrease muscle tone, improve blood flow to the affected area, reduce pain and reduce inflammation. The amount of pressure applied will vary, depending on the severity of each individual case. Treatment is likely to extend beyond the shoulder joint to other parts of the body such as the neck, mid back and arms, as the underlying cause of the pain may lie outside the localised area of pain.
Specific stretching and strengthening exercises may be prescribed to increase range of movement, improve scapular thoracic movement, and reduce pain to the affected area. The patient’s will likely be advised on the importance of maintaining correct posture and other necessary lifestyle adjustments to lower the risk of future recurrence.
A shoulder specialist in Camberley can help resolve your frozen shoulder issues. We are also available in Frimley & Guildford. Improve your quality of life today.