Frozen Shoulder

I can’t reach behind my back or over my head anymore. My shoulder is “frozen”!

Many people get diagnosed with “frozen shoulder”, but what does that mean?  The medical term for this condition is adhesive capsulitis. This problem develops over time, but many people do not realize it until their shoulder is so limited that it affects their daily activities. It is usually associated with a progressive loss of motion due to the structures in and around the shoulder joint becoming restricted. If left alone it can resolve, but it may take several years.

This problem often develops without any specific injury. It usually goes through 3 stages:  The first stage is painful with progressive loss of motion (freezing), then the “frozen” stage which may not be as painful, but the restricted mobility typically severely limits your activity, and then a thawing stage, where the shoulder is slowly returning to normal. This 3 stage process may take several years to progress through.

Physical therapy can help to restore movement in the shoulder to allow return to normal functional activities faster and to minimize the pain of your daily activities. Treatment may involve focused exercises to address specific joint restrictions and weakness as well as hands on therapy to improve the mechanics of the joint and stretch tissues that are tight. Your physical therapist will evaluate your shoulder to determine the most appropriate treatment as each person should have a program specifically tailored to their needs.

Contributed by: Ryan Webb, PT, DPT, OCS

For more information on how you can be assessed or if you would like a free 10 minute consultation over the phone to determine what services are right for you, call 1-855RACV4PT today!

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