medical illustration of frozen shoulder, the cause of severe pain


What is Frozen Shoulder, or Adhesive Capsulitis?

Frozen Shoulder, medically referred to as Adhesive Capsulitis, occurs sometimes because the shoulder is used infrequently, from disuse after a shoulder injury, but strangely, often for no reason at all. The muscles in the shoulder "freeze up" due to lack of synovial fluid, resulting in severe shoulder pain and stiffness. It is a progressive condition, beginning with pain and reduced range of motion and progressing to stiffness and the inability to lift the arm.

Frozen Shoulder Symptoms

Symptoms include pain when trying to raise the arm up or sideways, muscle weakness, difficulty sleeping and difficulty when trying to use your arm during everyday activities such as dressing and brushing the hair. It is most common in diabetics and women and usually only occurs in one shoulder at a time.

Frozen Shoulder Treatment

Frozen shoulder therapy includes moist heat and electrical muscle stimulation, along with shoulder exercise to improve range of motion, which will loosen up the tightened muscles to get the shoulder moving again. In addition, frozen shoulder exercises will include a variety of stretching exercises, strength training and endurance exercises. In shoulder injuries such as Adhesive Capsulitis, the goal is to reinvigorate the shoulder muscles carefully to avoid damaging the weakened muscles.

If you or someone you know is in need of treatment for frozen shoulder, please contact the clinic nearest you to speak to one of our licensed physical therapists. A prescription from your Primary Care Physician is all you need to initiate your health insurance benefits.

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