Are you suffering with a frozen shoulder and not sure where to start?
We can help!
One of the most common shoulder injuries seen among patients here in the Physio Performance clinic is a frozen shoulder.
Frozen shoulder, or medically known, ‘Adhesive Capsulitis’, is a disorder which involves the connective tissue surrounding the shoulder, the capsule. The shoulder capsule is just an envelope of tissue that surrounds the shoulder joint, this shoulder joint capsule can become inflamed which can result in tightening and scarring of the shoulder joint capsule which gives rise to ‘Frozen Shoulder’.
True frozen shoulder usually occurs in people between 40-60 years of age and is idiopathic, that is to say it usually comes on spontaneously. A direct cause for ‘Frozen Shoulder’ is still unknown. It is a very debilitating and restrictive condition that can have a very large impact on the lives of those affected.
The condition is known to be self limiting, that is to say it resolves itself usually over time without any surgical intervention however on average a frozen shoulder can take up to one and a half years to recover.
The pathology is generally split into three distinct stages:
1. Freezing – This is the painful stage and mostly when you will present to a healthcare practitioner for accurate diagnosis. The shoulder becomes stiff and painful and you slowly start to lose the range of motion in your shoulder (Can last up to 6 months).
2.Frozen – This stage is characterized by a decrease in pain (slow) coupled with a more significant restriction in the shoulder (can last 4-12 months).
3.Thawing – In this stage the shoulders slowly start to recover, the shoulder becomes looser and movement gradually returns ( it can last 4-12 months).
It is important to note however that physiotherapy cannot ‘cure’ the condition, treatment is widely focused at maintaining as much shoulder movement as possible, managing the pain and when in the thawing stage ensuring a speedy recovery and return to normal shoulder movements.
The use of corticosteroid injections has been shown to help reduce the effects of the inflammatory stage allowing your physio to work with you sooner. However their effect appears to be best used during the initial inflammatory stage with little or no effect after this.
In severe cases surgery can also be indicated, an arthroscopic capsular release has been shown to have a good effect at restoring motion and relieving pain, where the tight capsule is released surgically. The nature of this condition is different to others where you generally have to wait until the condition wears itself before it resolves.
This does not mean you can do nothing to help it though; there are lots of exercises and management techniques that your physiotherapist can assist with to ensure this condition does not have too large an impact on your life.
The Physio Performance Way:
We are the specialists here in the Drogheda area dealing with Frozen Shoulders.
We can guide you right through the whole journey: From the initial diagnosis to a full recovery.
A rehabilitation program will be customised for you to help you regain your range of motion and help you build a more confident and stronger shoulder.
Want to get in touch with our team?
Looking for some advice?
We’d love to help!
You can contact us on 041-9877059 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also book an appointment online with us HERE.