A Frozen Shoulder or Adhesive Capsulitis as it is medically known, is a painful and disabling disorder in which the shoulder capsule, the connective tissue surrounding the glenohumeral joint of the shoulder, becomes inflamed and stiff, and causing chronic pain. Overtime it thickens the joint capsule which can greatly restrict motion.
Sometime it is unclear as to what has caused it but it can be due to trauma or repetitive strain. Risk factors for frozen shoulder include tonic seizures, diabetes mellitus, stroke, accidents, lung disease, connective tissue diseases, thyroid disease, and heart disease.
Quite often people confuse their shoulder and/or neck pain with a Frozen Shoulder. Technically for a Frozen Shoulder to be diagnosed you must have lost 70 degrees of motion in all ranges. It typically starts with pain and is made worse with inactivity and the less you use it the more it ‘freezes’, younger people tend not to get Frozen Shoulders as they continue to use the arm through the pain and thus prevent it from freezing up. Older people may be scared to move the shoulder and will avoid certain movements including relatively normal household chores or getting for example a can of beans down from the top cupboard. It can take months for a shoulder to become frozen and once it is it can take months to treat it and get into the recovery stage. The three stages are: the freezing phase which can be anywhere between 6 weeks to 9 months, the frozen stage can last up to 9 months and the thawing phase can last from 5 to 26 months. The trick is to not let it get to the frozen stage in the first place! However a lot of people who present to us thinking they have a Frozen Shoulder actually rarely have it and it can be something a lot simpler and easier to treat such as a joint sprain and/or a muscle strain.
Treatment for Frozen Shoulder consists of: Mobilisation to the shoulder joint, soft tissue work, cryotherapy, ultrasound therapy, ice/heat combination and prescribed focus exercises.
All of this we can do at our clinics so if you or anyone you know thinks they have a Frozen Shoulder or the beginnings of one then please do not hesitate to book and appointment and get is sort. The quicker you receive treatment for this the sooner it will resolve.
From the team at Heale's Chiropractic Clinics
Over 30 years of helping people in Hitchin and Luton and the surrounding areas of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire