By Athlete's Care on May 28, 2018
Frozen shoulder is a condition that can be puzzling in how it seems to develop. You may not notice anything in particular that leads up to it. One day, you may just wake up and find your shoulder is sore, and when you try to move, it’s stiff, and doesn’t seem to want to move in a full range of motion. That’s frozen shoulder.
A typical case of frozen shoulder gets worse over a period of time. It can take from six months to up to three years to fully heal.
Frozen Shoulder – the basics
The condition is also called adhesive capsulitis. The term refers to the capsule of connective tissue that surrounds your joints. When you have frozen shoulder, the capsule has swollen or thickened, and as it tighten around the bones, ligaments, and tendons, movement becomes more and more restricted.
While the exact cause may not yet be understood, there are several risk factors associated with frozen shoulder.
Whatever its underlying cause, it’s thickening and tightening of the capsule tissue that causes pain and restricts movement.
Symptoms typically begin with a dull ache in one shoulder. The pain may extend to the upper shoulder muscles and the upper arm, and it may get worse at night.
Frozen shoulder generally develops over three stages. They may last one or more months each, and they may not necessarily last an equal amount of time. The stages can be characterized by what you’ll notice the most.
1. Pain. Any movement of the shoulder causes significant pain that worsens over time. Range of motion is also becoming more difficult.
2. Stiffness. The pain typically lessens after the first stage, even as stiffness increases, and range of motion decreases more and more.
3. Recovery. Over time, range of motion will improve again, and any leftover pain should go away too.
Treatment can involve several options, depending on how serious your case is.
Once you’ve had frozen shoulder once, the good news is that it isn’t likely to come back...in the same shoulder. It’s not unheard of to experience it in the opposite shoulder as well.
Prevention may be possible. If you are immobile for a period of time, or you live with any of the following conditions, then you can ask your Toronto physiotherapist or chiropractor what kind of exercises you can do during your convalescence to help maintain range of motion.
Let our Toronto physiotherapists, chiropractors, or other sports medicine specialists help you with frozen shoulder, shoulder pain, or any other musculoskeletal issue or condition. Call one of our Toronto clinics, or drop by today to make an appointment.