Experiencing shoulder stiffness and pain? You may have frozen shoulder.

shoulder stiffness and pain could be frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder is a problem that can cause the shoulder to become painful and inflamed, leading to loss of movement. Over time, the pain may begin to decrease while the loss of movement increases. It doesn’t glide normally anymore because it’s tightened. It often starts because of irritation or inflammation in the shoulder.

Around 84% of people with adhesive capsulitis (another term for frozen shoulder) are between 40- and 59-years old, and approximately 3-5% of the population develops adhesive capsulitis.

In this article, we explain the symptoms you may experience with frozen shoulder, what can cause this shoulder condition and different treatment options you may have.

Frozen shoulder pain and symptoms

Frozen shoulder can get in the way of daily activities, like putting on a shirt. You may have considerable pain with moving your shoulder in certain ways, like reaching above your head, across your chest or behind your back. Your shoulder can even feel like it’s being “shrink wrapped.”

Initially, the pain increases, even if you haven’t experienced a significant loss of motion yet. The shoulder continues to be painful as it becomes progressively tighter. With time, the pain decreases, but the shoulder tightness and difficulty moving continues.

If left untreated, it can also lead to pain in other areas, like the neck. However, with the right shoulder treatment, there is a possibility of getting the full range of motion back in your shoulder. Treatment timelines vary based on how severe it is.

If you’re experiencing frozen shoulder pain and symptoms that feel like this, give us a call today to set up a free consultation.

What can cause frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder often starts because of an irritation or inflammation. While it’s often not clear as to why someone developed frozen shoulder, it can often develop after surgery or as a result of an injury (minor or major). People with diabetes and women in their 40s are also at a greater risk of developing frozen shoulder.

Thyroid disorders, Parkinson’s disease and bursitis or tendinitis of the rotator cuff can also raise the risk of developing a frozen shoulder (in fact, around 10% of people with rotator cuff  disorders develop frozen shoulder).

If you’re wondering what may have caused your frozen shoulder, give us a call to schedule a free consultation and see how we can help you.

Personalized shoulder physical therapy

If you’re experiencing shoulder pain and stiffness, our physical therapists can help get your shoulder’s range of motion back to normal and help relieve the pain. This is the process we typically follow to do so:

Detailed assessment

We first do a detailed assessment to help identify how severe your frozen shoulder is and what may be the best treatment path for you. (This assessment includes determining if you may need additional treatments besides physical therapy, such as medication or steroids.)

Personalized recovery program

We then design a personalized recovery program meant to help relieve pain and get your shoulder mobility back to normal. This treatment plan provides the right type of gentle stretch at the right time. Attempting at-home shoulder exercises, without medical advice and oversight, can be counter-productive and increase pain and loss of motion.

Possible physician referral

Depending on how severe the pain is, we may also provide a referral to a physician who may consider giving a cortisone or “steroid” injection. After a steroid injection, it’s very important to continue physical therapy, as research shows that the loss of motion may continue, and some people may never get it back—if they don’t continue with effective treatment.

Appropriate follow-up

Appropriate follow-up is also an important part of proper frozen shoulder treatment. It’s important that you are doing the right stretches at the right time in your recovery. You may be doing well enough that you can manage by doing recommended stretches at home.

While the timeline looks different for each person, we typically start with physical therapy treatment 2-3 times per week to help make sure your shoulder steadily progresses back to normal. If everything is going well, we may then continue a home program, with re-checks once every 2-3 weeks.

Do you have questions about your shoulder? Contact us today to set up an appointment. We can’t wait to meet you!

Get relief from frozen shoulder pain

You can get on the path to restoring your shoulder’s range of motion and relieving shoulder tightness, stiffness and pain today! Contact us for a full appointment or free phone consultation.