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Frozen Shoulder

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What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a painful condition that affects the shoulder joint. It is characterized by stiffness and limited range of motion in the shoulder, making it challenging to perform everyday activities.

What Causes Frozen Shoulder?

The exact cause of frozen shoulder is not always clear, but several factors can contribute to its development:

  1. Inflammation: Inflammation in the shoulder joint can lead to the thickening and tightening of the joint capsule, restricting movement.

  2. Immobilization: Prolonged immobilization of the shoulder, such as after surgery or injury, can increase the risk of developing frozen shoulder.

  3. Underlying Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, can increase the likelihood of developing frozen shoulder.

What are the Stages of Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder typically progresses through three stages, each with its own set of symptoms:

  • Stage 1: Freezing

    • During this stage, you may experience the gradual onset of shoulder pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion.

  • Stage 2: Frozen

    • In this stage, symptoms may include persistent shoulder pain and further reduction in shoulder mobility which compromises activities of daily living.

  • Stage 3: Thawing

    • As the shoulder begins to thaw, or progressively heal, you will begin to notice gradual improvement in shoulder mobility while some residual stiffness remains.

Diagnosing Frozen Shoulder

If you suspect you have a frozen shoulder, it's essential to seek a proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional. The diagnostic process may include a physical examination, range of motion tests, imaging services, and other assessments to understand the extent of the injury.

How Can You Treat Frozen Shoulder?

The treatment approach for a frozen shoulder may vary depending on the severity of the condition. Common treatment options include physical therapy, medications, corticosteroid injections, heat and ice, and osteopathic techniques.

On the contrary, individuals with adhesive capsulitis or ‘frozen shoulder’ can prevent it from occurring by regularly performing range of motion exercises and seeking prompt medical treatment when early symptoms start to arise.

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