3 Things to Know About Shoulder Pain and Frozen Shoulder

Shoulder Pain and Frozen Shoulder

Shoulder pain with a “stuck” or frozen shoulder is one of the more common shoulder conditions we see in the physical therapy world.  This condition is also known as adhesive capsulitis. It is characterized by shoulder pain and loss of motion in multiple directions, especially movements that involve rotating the lower arm outward and reaching out to the side, away from the body. The condition usually starts with shoulder pain alone and then progresses into limited movement in some motions and progresses to all motions around the shoulder joint. If allowed to worsen, this can cause severe limitation in movement with associated functional limitations. Physical Therapy is commonly prescribed to help and we see good results.

Here are three essential things you should know about the condition of Adhesive Capsulitis, aka Frozen Shoulder:

Number One:

This condition more frequent in those ages 40-65 years is more common in women than in men. It is also more common in individuals with diabetes mellitus, thyroid disease, and those who have had adhesive capsulitis in the past.

Number Two:

Adhesive capsulitis can look like other medical or orthopedic conditions, so it is important that you have an evaluation with your health care provider (physician, nurse practitioner, physical therapist, etc.). They will help you determine the best direction of care for your individual shoulder issues. Injections and/or physical therapy treatments are common, evidence-based interventions that may be recommended.

Here’s what to expect if you are referred for physical therapy:

 A comprehensive evaluation.

Based on your particular presentation and movement tolerance, the physical therapy evaluation will likely include a self-report functional measure, pain assessment, motion measurements, and functional review.

 A treatment intervention plan tailored to your needs and goals.

This may include: 1) Education/instruction in the condition, activity modifications, stretching, and other topics.  2) Treatment modalities to decrease pain, promote healing, and promote tissue extensibility. This may include therapeutic ultrasound, electrical stimulation, or other modalities.  3) Joint mobilization to reduce pain and improve motion and function. 4) Individually tailored stretching exercises to improve movement and function.

Number Three:

A frozen shoulder can be quite limiting and interfere with daily activities. Unfortunately, adhesive capsulitis is not uncommon. It is reported 2% to 5.3% of the general population is affected by this condition. The good news is that there are treatments that can help you have less pain, improve your motion, and regain your function.

Want to learn more about how we can help your shoulder pain or frozen shoulder? Call ATW at (315)765-0063 for your FREE CONSULTATION and if indicated, we can help you get started with a comprehensive physical therapy evaluation and treatment plan.  Learn more about our Physical Therapy Services for orthopedic conditions here.




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