You may have heard or been diagnosed with frozen shoulder in the past without exactly knowing what it is: here is a summary of what it is, feels like and how we can help!
Frozen shoulder is also known as adhesive capsulitis, in reference to the changes happening within the shoulder joint. Although research struggles to understand why exactly this shoulder condition occurs, some factors such as being female, between 40 and 50 years old and having diabetes or having undergone recent upper extremity surgery are thought to increase your likelihood of developing it.
Three stages of Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder tends to occur in three stages, which can each last a few months. The first one is marked by pain, the second one by restriction of movement and the last one by progressive improvement of your symptoms.
The main symptoms are diffuse shoulder pain and progressive loss of shoulder range of motion. You may start to struggle to brush your hair, do a bra strap or put your coat on. The pain can disturb sleep and be worse for turning your shoulder outwards.
Medical treatment your GP might recommend you can include painkillers, corticosteroids injections, shoulder exercises, surgery and procedures under anaesthetic.
So, if you are experiencing Frozen Shoulder symptoms, how can we help you?
Well first of all, you may be experiencing similar symptoms but not actually have frozen shoulder. During our consultations, we ask you questions and conduct an extensive assessment before giving you a diagnosis.
As mentioned previously, frozen shoulder tends to resolve itself naturally. However, this takes time: from a few months to a few years in some cases. If we do think you have frozen shoulder, we can help speed up this natural resolution of symptoms.
How can we speed up this natural resolution of symptoms?
Although the shoulder joint itself might be too painful to be worked on directly, we can start treating by ensuring the joints nearby the shoulder are moving well, because if everything around the restricted joint is working well it will help the shoulder’s function as well. We’d probably therefore look at your neck, upper spine, shoulder blades and elbow.
During frozen shoulder, the shoulder musculature tends to react and contract to protect the joint. So we also work on the overlaying and surrounding muscles, to make sure they are relaxed and working properly. That tends to help reduce the pain levels and as this happens, we are able to work directly on the shoulder to get it to move better.
We are also likely to give you exercises to do at home so you can yourself help speed up the recovery process.
If you have any questions or want to book an appointment, feel free to contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0203 146 6755.