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Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder : Description
Description | Causes | Symptoms | Treatment

Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)
is a disorder characterized by:
  • Pain and loss of motion or stiffness in the shoulder.
  • This condition is frequently caused by injury that leads to lack of use due to pain.
  • As the condition worsens, the shoulder's range of motion becomes markedly reduced.
  • Frozen shoulder usually affects one shoulder at a time, although some people may eventually develop frozen shoulder in the opposite shoulder.


The shoulder is made up of three bones: the scapula (shoulder blade), the humerus (upper arm bone), and the clavicle (collarbone).

The joint capsule is a watertight sac that encloses the joint and the fluids that bathe and lubricate it.

The walls of the joint capsule are made up of ligaments. Ligaments are soft connective tissues that attach bones to bones. The joint capsule has a considerable amount of slack, loose tissue, so the shoulder is unrestricted as it moves through its large range of motion.

Frozen Shoulder : Causes
Description | Causes | Symptoms | Treatment

Doctors don't know the precise cause of frozen shoulder. It can occur after an injury to your shoulder or prolonged immobilization of your shoulder, such as after surgery or an arm fracture.
People who have diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lung disease, and heart disease have a greater risk of frozen shoulder. For this reason, frozen shoulder may have an autoimmune component, meaning your immune system may begin to attack the healthy parts of your body — in this case, the capsule and connective tissue of your shoulder.
Your shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. The round end of your upper arm bone (humerus) fits into a shallow groove on your shoulder blade (scapula), much like a golf ball rests on a tee. Tough connective tissue, called the shoulder capsule, surrounds the joint.

Mechanism by which a Frozen Shoulder occurs:
  • The shoulder capsule becomes inflamed and stiff, usually due to an injury
  • The inflammation may cause bands of tissue (adhesions) to develop between your joint's surfaces.
  • Synovial fluid, which helps to keep your joint lubricated and moving smoothly, may decrease. As a result, pain and subsequent loss of movement may occur.
  • In some cases, mobility may decrease so much that performing everyday activities — such as combing your hair, brushing your teeth or reaching for your wallet in your back pocket — is difficult or even impossible.
Frozen Shoulder : Symptoms
Description | Causes | Symptoms | Treatment

Pain due to frozen shoulder is usually dull or aching. It becomes worse with movment of the shoulder or arm.
The pain is usually located over the outer shoulder area and sometimes the upper arm.
The hallmark of the disorder is restricted motion or stiffness in the shoulder. The affected individual cannot move the shoulder normally. Motion is also limited when someone else attempts to move the shoulder for the patient.
Frozen shoulder typically develops slowly, and in three stages. Each of these stages can last a number of months:
  • Stage one: In the Freezing Stage, which may last from six weeks to nine months, the patient develops a slow onset of pain. As the pain worsens, the shoulder loses motion. 
  • Stage two: The Frozen Stage is marked by a slow improvement in pain, but the stiffness remains. This stage generally lasts four months to nine months.
  • Stage three: The final stage is the Thawing Stage.  During this stage the shoulder motion slowly returns toward normal. This generally lasts five months to 26 months.
Stiffness and discomfort may worsen at night.
Frozen Shoulder : Treatment
Description | Causes | Symptoms | Treatment

In most cases, Frozen Shoulder will get better on its own. However, this may take up to two to three years. If you have a stiff and painful shoulder, see your physician to make sure no other injuries are present.
Treatment for Frozen Shoulder involves:
  • Controlling shoulder pain 
    • Oral anti-inflammatories are frequently prescribed to reduce inflammation within the shoulder and to control pain.
    • Corticosteroids Injections into your shoulder joint may help decrease pain, reduce inflammation, and shorten symptoms duration during the initial painful phase.

  •  Preserving and restoring normal shoulder range of motion
    • Your doctor may recommend that you see a physical therapist. He or she can show you how to maintain as much mobility in your shoulder as possible, without stressing your shoulder to the point of causing a lot of pain. 
    • Gently and gradually moving your shoulder through range of motion exercises won't completely alleviate the symptoms of frozen shoulder. However, it may help restore enough shoulder motion to enable you to resume your everyday

  • Heat may be used to help decrease pain
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) with a small battery-operated unit may be used to reduce pain by blocking painful nerve impulses. In this procedure, a tiny electrical current is delivered to key points on a nerve pathway. The current, delivered through electrodes taped to your skin, isn't painful or harmful. It's not known exactly how TENS works, but it's thought that it might stimulate the release of pain-inhibiting molecules (endorphins) or block pain fibers that carry pain impulses.

People with shoulder pain have also found these products to be effective:

click photo for product information

Active Wrap Shoulder Hot/Cold Therapy

Apply heat or cold without messy spills! Use while keeping active, it won't slip

Item No.:

Price: $69.99

click photo for product information

Medline Pul-EZ with Metal Bracket Shoulder Pulley

Item No.:

Price: $29.99

click photo for product information

Deluxe Exercise Tubing

Item No.:

Price: $15.99

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