Frozen Shoulder

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder has an idiopathic gradual onset resulting in pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. Due to pain, the person tends to use the shoulder less.  Frozen shoulder causes the shoulder joint to become inflamed resulting in thickening, scarring, and shrinkage of the joint capsule that surrounds the shoulder joint. Scar tissue and adhesions form around the shoulder joint resulting in chronic stiffness.

 Some reasons people may get a frozen shoulder are from having poor posture, prolonged immobility from a previous injury, diabetes, or disuse from pain. Research shows, frozen shoulder is often the first sign of undiagnosed diabetes.  This is more commonly found in women over 50 years old. 

 Diligent physical therapy is the key to recovering from a frozen shoulder. Rehabilitation from a frozen shoulder can take weeks to months, depending on the severity. Your therapist may apply heat and ultrasound to warm up the joint and instruct you in stretching/strengthening exercises to restore the range of motion and strength of your shoulder. Ice is often applied after exercises to reduce inflammation.

Posted: April 8th, 2011 under Clinical Question.
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