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What is a "Frozen Shoulder"?

Publish Date
July 8, 2021

Frozen shoulder is a condition where your shoulder joint becomes painful and stiff, usually resulting from lack of motion or use. The medical term for this is “adhesive capsulitis.” Simply put, your shoulder capsule (which is a connective tissue structure that surrounds your bones and muscles of your shoulder) has tightened up and is restricting your ability to move the shoulder freely. 

How do I know if I have developed frozen shoulder?

Typically, this condition develops gradually over time, usually following immobilization after surgery or lack of use after an injury. You may have used a shoulder sling or self-restricted movement in the shoulder due to pain. 

How do I know if I am at risk for developing a frozen shoulder?

In many cases, this condition occurs in people 40 or older, with increased likelihood of occurrence with women. 

You may also be at greater risk with the following conditions:

·   Diabetes

·   Thyroid conditions

·   Heart disease

·   Parkinson’s disease

·   Any condition which limits mobility: history of stroke, rotator cuff injury, broken arm, or recent shoulder surgery

What do I do if I think I have a frozen shoulder?

Come see us at Comprehensive Physical Therapy right away! If you are in the early stages of developing frozen shoulder, we can instruct you on stretches and exercises to prevent this condition from worsening. If your shoulder is already “frozen” with very restricted range of motion, we can also help you recover by performing hands-on treatment to loosen your muscles and shoulder capsule along with exercises to help return your shoulder back to normal function.

Waiting to seek treatment will allow this condition to worsen and result in decreased use of your affected arm. Treatments for this condition by our skilled physical therapy staff include:

·   Range of motion exercises

·   Manual therapy to stretch your shoulder capsule and mobilize your shoulder joint

·   Strengthening to the muscles of the rotator cuff

·   Postural awareness training

If you are suffering with a frozen shoulder, call or walk-in TODAY to schedule your physical therapy evaluation.

By Dr. Billy Beaudreau, PT, DPT, MTC, OCS, FAAOMPT

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By Dr. Billy Beaudreau, PT, DPT, MTC, OCS, FAAOMPT


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