Frozen Shoulder

Well done! You’ve taken the first steps to understanding and relieving your Frozen Shoulder! Once you read this page answer the questions on the sheet given by your physiotherapist at Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia and bring that to your next treatment session. Recovery from your Frozen Shoulder is crucial in order to achieve your goals and gain rapid and long-lasting results. Your physiotherapist at Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia has requested that you read this page so that you understand your condition and know how to best manage in between physiotherapy consultations. Frozen shoulder

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen Shoulder, clinically known as Adhesive Capsulitis, is a condition that involves contracture of the shoulder capsule causing painful and limited movement. Patients with Frozen Shoulder usually experience progressive onset of pain and gradual decrease in range of motion that can take months to years to subside. Frozen Shoulder is one of the most common shoulder conditions and affects up to 5% of the population, generally in people aged 40-60 and is more common in women than men.
Frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder

What caused my Frozen Shoulder?

So far there is still no known cause as to how Frozen Shoulder begins. What is known is that certain medical conditions can increase the risk of having Frozen Shoulder, some by up to 40%. For example, people with Diabetes have an increased risk of developing Frozen Shoulder by 10 to 38%. Other conditions also increase the risk of getting Frozen Shoulder, these include Cardiac disease, thyroid conditions and shoulder surgery, which leave the shoulder joint immobilised for a period of time.

How can you help me with my Frozen Shoulder?

A detailed history, taken by your Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia Clinician, of the pain or injury can determine the underlying cause of the Frozen Shoulder, while a physical assessment of the shoulder, and surrounding structures, can determine the best course of action in treating the condition. Usually, treatment will involve correcting any abnormal movements of the shoulder, and increasing the subacromial space (the space between the roof of the “socket”, and the “ball” of the shoulder joint), and to gently mobilise the shoulder to maintain any range that is available. Treatment will also vary according to the stage of Frozen Shoulder that you are currently experiencing.

What should I do to avoid aggravating my Frozen Shoulder?

  • AVOID overhead activities, particularly during the acute phase.
  • DO concentrate on maintaining good, erect posture, particularly during activities with that involve the shoulders.
  • Applying non-steroidal anti-inflammatories may help to reduce pain in the short term. CONSULT your PHARMACIST regarding their use.
  • REMAIN ACTIVE, but avoid aggravating activities.
  • RECEIVE physiotherapy care to get your joints, ligaments and muscles de-loaded and moving freely with no restrictions.
Keep good care of your body and your physiotherapist will continue to monitor your condition. Once your Frozen Shoulder has resolved you will be able to resume your full activities without worrying about future flare-ups. Nearly 20% of people who have had Frozen Shoulder in the past will develop Frozen Shoulder in the other side, so preventative measures must be taken if you are currently suffering from this.
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