Winter is approaching - "Frozen" Shoulder
My shoulder doesn’t want to move! It’s frozen
Have you woken up one day trying to tie your hair up or have you experienced stiffness and pain trying to get your winter coat on? Have you experienced your shoulder all of a sudden “freezing up” causing it to become immobile and stiff? There may be a few possible causes but we cannot rule out what’s called a “frozen shoulder” or “Adhesive capsulitis”.
Unfortunately the cause of frozen shoulder is unknown and treatment can be difficult and long. It is suspected that the shoulder joint capsule and the connective tissue becomes stiff causing these issues.
People at risk
People who fall between the ages of 40-60 years of age (more common in women)
Rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory disorders
Previous surgery or trauma to the shoulder
There are three stages:
Freezing (3-9 months): Shoulder becomes gradually immobile with a lot of pain.
Frozen (9-14 months): Pain may begin to subside but the shoulder becomes stiffer
Thawing (12-24 months): Range of motion and pain begins to improve
Role of Physiotherapy
At the end of the day “Frozen shoulder” is a self limiting condition. Initially the role of physiotherapy will be to reduce the pain through patient education and manual therapy. Manual therapy consists of massage, dry needling, taping, mobilisation and occasional electrotherapy modalities as indicated.
Your Physiotherapist will prescribe you gentle range of motion exercises that will prevent further restrictions of your shoulder. Strengthening exercises around the shoulder joint is also important to ensure your muscles are maintained and you don’t lose strength and muscle mass. This will make sure the shoulder does not deteriorate any further.
Contact Physio Room Pymble to consult our friendly Physiotherapist if you think this is you!