Frozen Shoulder: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments
Tackle Frozen Shoulder Pain Quickly
Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that results in severe pain and loss of movement in the shoulder joint. It is caused by the thickening and tightening of the tissues and ligaments that day the shoulder together. A frozen shoulder typically develops over time and can take up to two years to heal. A frozen shoulder is a condition characterized by joint stiffness and a painful range of motion in the shoulder. It is also known as “adhesive capsulitis” because it involves inflammation of the capsule that surrounds the shoulder joint, resulting in thickening and scarring which limits its range of motion.
The exact cause of a frozen shoulder is not completely clear but some experts believe it may be due to an injury or a combination of factors including underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, inflammatory conditions, or previous shoulder surgeries. In some cases, it may come on slowly over time but other times it can develop suddenly.
Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms of a frozen shoulder include difficulty performing daily activities due to stiffness and pain, limited range of motion in the affected shoulder, and pain at night that may keep one from getting proper rest. Additionally, certain medical conditions such as diabetes or thyroid disease can increase the risk of developing a frozen shoulder.
- Limited Range of Motion – One of the first signs of a frozen shoulder is that you may have limited motion in your shoulder joint. You may not be able to raise your arm above a certain height or reach for things behind you. You could also experience stiffness and pain when attempting to move your shoulder joint in any direction.
- Pain – Frozen shoulder can also cause pain with movement, as well as at night while sleeping.
- Weakness – This could lead to increased difficulty with daily tasks like opening jars or lifting objects, or activities that require a lot of range like throwing a ball or using certain tools.
- Loss of Mobility – Over time, a frozen shoulder will limit your ability to move freely and completely in all directions such as when reaching up for objects, sideways motions such as reaching out for something from a shelf, reaching back behind you, and close together hand movements such as typing on a keyboard rapidly. To prevent further muscle weakening and loss of motion, try not to let it progress past this stage if possible by taking action early on with stretching exercises/physiotherapy, etc
- Increased Throbbing – If left untreated for too long, you may find that there are more prolonged throbbing sensations around the affected area than before and persistent night discomfort that does not go away with rest or sleep position changes – which are two other surefire signs that intervention needs to happen soon
- Discomfort While Sleeping – Some people who have advanced stages of frozen shoulders complain about intense levels of discomfort while sleeping due to no limitations in mobility during their deep phases throughout rest periods; leading to waking up restless and feeling exhausted
- Swelling & Inflammation– Another symptom related to severe forms would be an increase in inflammation specifically at night leading up until morning, along with swelling due to aggravation caused by moving/stretching without proper treatment.
Diagnosis of a frozen should often begin with a physical exam followed by imaging tests such as X-Ray or MRIs. Treatment generally includes anti-inflammatory medications either orally or injected directly into the site, exercise therapy to gradually increase mobility, stretching exercises specific to each patient’s needs, cryotherapy (cold therapy), heat therapy (including hot packs), manipulation under anesthesia with arthroscopy (MUA), cortisone injections, or even occasionally surgery for advanced cases.
- Rest and self-care: Resting the shoulder and avoiding activities that cause pain are important for recovery.
- Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be used to manage inflammation and reduce shoulder pain.
- Surgery: When less invasive treatments fail to provide sufficient relief, a surgery called arthroscopic capsular release may be necessary to break up scar tissue that has developed around the joint capsule, restoring the full range of motion in severe cases of frozen shoulder.
- Corticosteroid injections: injections of corticosteroids (or steroids) into the joint may help reduce inflammation and decrease pain levels quickly; however, they are usually used as a short-term solution while other treatment options are explored.
- Manual therapy: manual mobilization techniques involving manipulation of the soft tissues around the joint can help restore the range of motion in the joint, improve overall strength and mobility, relieve pain, and encourage healing.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that dates back over 2,500 years. It involves the insertion of very thin needles at precise points on the body in order to stimulate and balance the natural flow of energy (or “Qi”) within the body. By stimulating these points, acupuncture helps alleviate symptoms and promote healing in both physical and mental ailments.
Cure Your Frozen Shoulder Now With These Proven Exercises!
- Shoulder Shrugs: Begin by standing tall with your arms hanging at your sides, then keeping your head facing straight ahead, lift both shoulders up and hold for two seconds before slowly lowering them again. Repeat this 10 times to loosen tight muscles in the shoulder area.
- Hands Behind The Back: Stand tall and clasp both hands behind your back. Pulling your right arm across with your left hand, lift the arm up as far as possible and hold for five seconds. Repeat on the other side. Keep pushing gently against each other’s hands for further stretching of the shoulder joint area.
- Pendulum Stretch: Stand near a doorway or wall, hold onto it with the hand on the affected side of your body, then swing that arm in a large circular motion allowing gravity to help pull it into a better stretch. Repeat this five times in each direction and be sure not to overstress yourself while doing so.
- Internal Rotation: Lie down on one side with legs bent- make sure you are comfortable while performing any exercise; cross the top leg over in front of you so that only ten degrees of movement is available through internal rotation (bringing elbow towards waist). Raise the right arm so that it is parallel to the ground then slowly rotate it towards the hip holding it for two seconds before release.
- External Rotation: Remain lying on one side with legs bent as before; place forearm across the stomach with elbow bent 90 degrees and palm facing outwards. Using the same principles from Internal Rotation- rotate the arm outwards holding for 2 secs before release, 5x per day – stop immediately if experiencing discomfort.
- Arm Stretches: Reach overhead directly above shoulder level then reach around behind head with palm facing forward – draw shoulder blade down towards spine – feel tightness improve from deep stretch! Drop the other hand down whilst remaining relaxed and hold grip upon elbows; push downward noticing extra pull along sides of arms & shoulders as tension increases slightly more!
- Scapular Squeezes: Start seated comfortably upright; bring both arms out wide in an “eagle wings” position at the same height as shoulders, relax palms downwards (forearms remain supported upon thighs), and squeeze scapula inward which strengthens the rotator cuff muscles through a contraction. Hold this position tightly (not too hard!) & count while breathing deeply until completing sets of 10x repetitions total each session 3x daily minimum- this improves range of motion whilst also facilitating blood flow within tissue aiding recovery greatly!
How You Manage Your Lifestyle With Frozen Shoulder?
Try eating nutritious foods that reduce inflammation throughout your body – like leafy greens and fruits – drinking plenty of water each day to keep your joints lubricated and exercising regularly but not too strenuously so you don’t put a strain on affected joints in your body. With patience and persistence, you should be able to improve your overall quality of life while managing your frozen shoulder effectively over time!
In conclusion, a Frozen Shoulder is a painful disorder causing restriction in movement and function within the shoulder joint due to the thickening and tightening of tissues surrounding this important joint. Treatment varies depending on severity but usually involves physical therapy stretching exercises combined with cold/heat therapies, medication injections (including corticosteroids), manipulation under anesthesia, and rarely surgery for more extreme cases.