Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a common and painful condition that affects the mobility of the shoulder. Frozen shoulder limits the movement in the shoulder and in some cases can immobilize it altogether.
What causes frozen shoulder?
Frozen shoulder occurs when the joint in the shoulder becomes inflamed making movement difficult. It is common in people with diabetes although the exact cause of frozen shoulder is not yet known. It is usually due to an injury or fracture of the area.Frozen shoulder is more common in women than in men.
Frozen shoulder symptoms
The beginning of frozen shoulder is recognised by persistent pain and stiffness in the shoulder followed by three stages:
- 1.Pain- shoulder becomes stiff, movement is very limited and pain becomes heightened. Typically pain is worse at night.
- 2. Frozen/adhesive stage – the shoulder becomes increasingly stiff, severely limiting the range of motion, in some cases the shoulder may become immobilised. Pain in the joint does not usually worsen.
- 3.Thawing stage – The shoulder begins to loosen and movement begins to occur. Pain usually diminishes but may reoccur.
Frozen shoulder treatment
- Alternating between hot and cold packs can bring relief.
- Using a TENS Machine.
- Exercises recommended by a physiotherapist can help alleviate the pain.