What is a frozen shoulder?
Adhesive Capsulitis or “frozen shoulder” is a condition of the shoulder joint capsule (the ligaments which surround the shoulder joint) that results in pain, limited mobility, and substantial limitations. As the condition worsens, your range of motion decreases and your shoulder is physically incapable of movement.
There are three stages of frozen shoulder:
- Painful Stage – Pain increases with movement and shoulder range of motion decreases.
- Frozen Stage – Pain may decrease but the stiffening increases. The capsule is adhering in greater amounts and limitation is becoming more noticeable.
- Thawing Stage – Range of motion begins to improve and healing has begun.
How does frozen shoulder happen and how long will it last?
The shoulder capsule surrounds the shoulder joint. As the shoulder capsule becomes inflamed and irritated, it begins to develop scar tissue (or fibrotic adhesions) that prevent movement of the capsule. The capsule stiffens and becomes more rigid, and restricts normal movement. It can become difficult or even impossible to reach behind or comb your hair. Everyday activities such as this can become painful or intolerable. At its worst, frozen shoulder can restrict your shoulder motion to a few degrees in front or to the side-essentially limiting any movement.
The exact cause of frozen shoulder is unknown, it could be an exercise, fun activity, or some random accident. Frozen shoulder can also be caused by prolonged immobilization; i.e., having your arm in sling after your fall from above. It is more common in people over 40 with diabetes or with other systemic diseases.
Frozen shoulder can last from a few months to a year. In fact, each stage can vary in duration-from one to several months.
What are the symptoms of frozen shoulder?
- Shoulder pain
- Loss of shoulder motion
Call today at 586-228-1500 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Clark at Macomb Spine Care. We look forward to helping you achieve optimum wellness, eliminate pain and feel better.