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What Is Frozen Shoulder and How Is It Treated?

Many minor conditions and injuries can limit the use of your shoulder. Usually, these conditions go away after a few days of rest and home treatment. However, one condition can make the range of motion in your shoulder grow worse over time. This is known as a frozen shoulder.

Frozen shoulder (known medically as adhesive capsulitis) is a condition in which pain and stiffness limit the use of your shoulder. Frozen shoulder isn’t a permanent condition, but it can affect you for one to three years if left untreated.

What are the symptoms of frozen shoulder?

Understanding the symptoms of frozen shoulder helps you know when to seek professional medical treatment. The main symptoms of frozen shoulder are pain and stiffness that limits your ability to move your shoulder. This is generally described as occurring in three stages:

  • Freezing — This is the beginning stage of frozen shoulder in which the pain slowly increases over the months. As this happens, your shoulder will become increasingly difficult to move.
  • Frozen — After a few months, the pain in your shoulder may subside. However, there will still be stiffness that can last for another few months.
  • Thawing — During the thawing stage, you slowly begin to regain mobility in your shoulder. This stage also takes several months and can last for years.

What causes a frozen shoulder?

The shoulder joint and rotator cuff are surrounded by a capsule of tissue. This tissue can grow thicker and tighter, which is what becomes a frozen shoulder.

Frozen shoulder is an idiopathic condition, which means the cause is not always known. It is known to occur more frequently in people with conditions like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and cardiac disease. It’s also known to be more common in women and people who are over the age of 40.

How do you treat frozen shoulder?

Treatments for frozen shoulder vary depending on the severity of your condition and its current stage. Doctors usually try to treat frozen shoulder with medication or physical therapy. However, if these methods are not successful, surgery may be able to restore the use of your shoulder.

Visit the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute for frozen shoulder treatment

Our team at the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute specializes in operations for releasing tension in a stiff shoulder joint. We can examine the condition of your shoulder and determine if surgery is the right treatment for you. Contact us today to learn more about frozen shoulder treatment or to schedule an initial appointment.