What Is the Best Treatment for Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen Shoulder

Shoulders are designed to move and function in many directions. But, if pain starts to affect range of motion, you could be experiencing a frozen shoulder. Whether a result of injury, overuse, osteoarthritis or inflammation, this cycle of stiffness and even pain allows adhesions to develop and basically causes the shoulder to “freeze” up, hence the name.

What is a Frozen Shoulder?

The medical definition for a frozen shoulder is called “adhesive capsulitis.” When the shoulder capsule shrinks around the head of the humerus. Tissue scarring, inflammation, shrinkage, and thickening results in patients experiencing movement limitations and pain.

What Are the Symptoms of a Frozen Shoulder?

The onset of a frozen shoulder manifests slowly over time and, unfortunately is often neglected until pain becomes unbearable or range of motion becomes severely limited. Symptoms usually include stiffness, pain in all directions, reduced range of motion and shoulder pain at night making it hard to sleep.

What Is the Main Cause Of Frozen Shoulder?

A frozen shoulder is often a result of an injury, such as a fall, overuse or misuse, that can cause inflammation and scarring. After an injury, it’s common to try to protect a painful shoulder by not moving it. These structural changes, combined with a lack of mobility, leads to frozen shoulder dysfunction.

Osteoarthritis, diabetes and breast cancer surgery patients also commonly experience frozen shoulders.

Who Gets Frozen Shoulders?

While aging doesn’t necessarily cause shoulder problems they tend to happen more often in older patients due to the weakening of joint structures surrounding the shoulder. It can happen to anyone, but typically, we see frozen shoulder conditions in patients over the age of 45 and more often in women than men.

What Is the Treatment For Frozen Shoulder?

During your initial assessment, your physical therapist will examine range of motion and discuss health history. The goals of physical therapy are to help patients increase range of motion, reduce pain levels and help them “thaw” your frozen shoulder.

Depending on your unique condition, your therapist may use hands on joint mobilizations to regain normal mobility of the shoulder joint. Exercises are used the retrain the shoulder in how to function normally once again. Ice application and other modalities can be used to help decrease pain associated with a frozen shoulder.

How Long Does A Frozen Shoulder Take To Heal?

If you have a frozen shoulder, it could feel so stiff that it might feel like you’ll never be able to move it again. The good news is that most frozen shoulder conditions can be rehabilitated with time.

But, it takes patience and committing to the rehabilitation process. Full recovery can take between one to three years; the sooner you contact a physical therapist, the sooner you’ll be on the road to recovery, significantly decreasing the time frame to typical use of the shoulder once again.

Rehabilitating a Frozen Shoulder

With proper intervention, shoulder function can be fully restored. If you think you have a frozen shoulder, don’t attempt to “play through the pain” or ignore the stiffness a moment longer. Ask a therapist in one of our NJ physical therapy clinics about the appropriate course of action to help you address your shoulder condition today.

Why Choose Twin Boro Physical Therapy

Voted Readers’ Choice Best of New Jersey in 2013, Twin Boro has provided NJ residents with high quality physical therapy and rehab for over 38 years! It’s our award-winning approach, proven results and reputation that sets us apart. By incorporating the One2Four program into each patient’s program, the latest and most reliable scientific research and techniques is incorporated into effective evidence-based practice, we deliver only the highest standard of care with the unique One2Four approach.

It’s no surprise that Twin Boro Physical Therapy has also been voted the best physical therapy practice in New Jersey by the readers of mycentraljersey.com.

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