What is a Frozen Shoulder and What to Do if You Have it?

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frozen shoulder treatment?Wondering if you need frozen shoulder treatment?

Frozen shoulder is also referred to as adhesive capsulitis. It is a condition that is characterized by pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. Typically, its symptoms gradually begin, progressively worsen and resolve within a year or two.

For some, the pain is unbearable during the night and can disrupt normal sleep patterns. Consult a doctor if you experience persistent pain in the shoulder.

Causes and Risk Factors

Doctors are unsure why this condition happens to some individuals and not to others. Even though the precise cause is not known, particular factors could increase the risk.

The factors include:

1. Gender and Age
The majority of people who develop frozen shoulder are women. Individuals 40 years and older are more prone to this condition.

2. Systemic Diseases
Individuals who have particular medical problems are seemingly more predisposed to developing frozen shoulder. The medical problems include:

• Parkinson’s Disease
• Cardiovascular disease
• Tuberculosis
• Hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid
• Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid
• Diabetes

3. Reduced Mobility or Immobility
People with prolonged periods of reduced shoulder mobility or immobility are at higher risk.

Immobility could result from:

• Recovery from surgery
• Stroke
• Broken arm
• Rotator cuff injury

Test and Diagnosis

A physical exam will be performed by the doctor. They may ask you to carry out particular actions to evaluate range of motion and check for pain. They may include:

• Back Scratch
You could be asked to begin with the back of a hand on the small of the back and to reach up to touch the opposite shoulder blade.

• Opposite Shoulder
Reaching across the chest, you may be instructed to touch the opposite shoulder.

• Hands Up
The doctor could request that you raise your hands up in the air, similar to the touchdown signal of a football referee.

Additionally, the doctor could move your arm for you, after asking you to relax your muscles. This test can assist in distinguishing between a rotator cuff injury and frozen shoulder. Typically, a diagnosis for frozen shoulder can be made from just the signs and symptoms. However, the doctor could suggest an MRI or X-rays to rule out structural problems.


Treatment could involve numbing injections and corticosteroids into the joint capsule and stretching exercises. Surgery may be required, in a small number of cases, to loosen the joint capsule to make it move more freely. Essentially, frozen shoulder treatment involves preserving range of motion and managing shoulder pain.

Surgical and Other Procedures

• Therapy
Learn stretching exercises from a physical therapist to assist in maintaining mobility.

• Medications
Ibuprofen, aspirin and other over-the-counter pain relievers like Motrin and Advil can help the inflammation and pain. However, a doctor may prescribe more powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving drugs.

• Shoulder Manipulation
This procedure involves giving the patient a general anesthetic so he or she will be unconscious and pain free. The doctor then moves the shoulder joint in various directions to assist in loosening the tightened tissue.

• Steroid Injections
An injection of corticosteroids could assist in decreasing pain and improving shoulder mobility.

• Surgery
If all non-surgical procedures fail, surgery may be required to remove adhesion and scar tissue. Typically, this surgery is carried out arthroscopically. Tubular, lighted instruments are inserted through tiny incisions around the joint.

Frozen shoulder treatment preserves range of motion in and makes things as painless as possible.

About Kenneth Dulude

Kenneth Dulude is a writer, avid reader and a history nut. Other hobbies include music (both listening and playing) and cooking.