Frozen shoulder is the common name for adhesive capsulitis, a condition that limits the range of motion causing shoulder pain. When the tissues in your shoulder grow thicker and tighter, scar tissue will begin to develop. This will leave you with an insufficient amount of space within the shoulder joint for your shoulder to rotate fully. Frozen shoulder symptoms include pain, swelling and a stiffness which refuses to go away after stretching and warm-up. The condition is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 60.
If you are suffering from poorly treated diabetes, a weakened immune system or a hormonal imbalance, you may be prone to joint inflammation. A period of inactivity after an automobile accident, significant illness or a surgery also makes you more vulnerable to adhesions. Serious cases will see scar tissue form limiting the range of motion.
How will I know I am experiencing the symptoms of a frozen shoulder?
You will become aware that adhesive capsulitis is the possible diagnosis when your shoulder first begins to hurt and the pain starts to limit range of motion. Choosing to move the shoulder less increases the speed with which stiffness begins to settle into the joint. You quickly find that your range of motion is greatly decreased, when it is nearly impossible to reach for an item on a high shelf. The periods of intense pain may make it difficult to do even simple tasks around your house.
How will my frozen shoulder be diagnosed?
If there is pain and stiffness in your shoulder, it is time to make an appointment to talk with a medical professional. He will conduct an examination to assess your range of motion. A few tests and imaging may also be required to rule out a tear in the rotator cuff.
How can this be treated?
It is possible to leave a frozen shoulder untreated but the pain will remain for years. An integrated approach of treating it with physical therapy, medication and work at home can actually help to speed the healing process and return the range of motion.
If you would like more information about Tampa Bay Spine & Injury, please call 813.381.3852 or contacts us directly using our “contact us” online form.