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What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen Shoulder, clinically known as Adhesive Capsulitis, is a condition that involves contracture and inflamation 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 occurs in stages; freezing, frozen and thawing.

What caused my Frozen Shoulder?

Currently, there is no know cause of Frozen Shoulder. We do know, however, that there are a few medical conditions that seem to increase the likelihood of someone experiencing frozen shoulder. There is a 10-38% increased chance of somebody with diabetes developing frozen shoulder. There is also a n increased likelihood amongst people with cardiac disease, thyroid conditions and people who have recently received shoulder surgery.

How can you help me with my Frozen Shoulder?

A detailed history, and physical assessment will be undertaken by your physiotherapist in order to comprehensively evaluate your frozen shoulder and the surrounding muscles joints and structures. From here, a personalised treatment plan will be created for your specific condition. Treatment will depend on which stage your Frozen Shoulder is at, but will likely include techniques to reduce pain and gently increase your shoulders range of motion. It will also address possible contributing factors, like your posture and mobility.

Is there anything else I can do?

Your physiotherapist will be able to advise if they think that any other measures could aide in the progression of your shoulder. In some cases, hydro-dilatation injections or cortisone injections can help with the pain and contribute to an increased range of motion. Your physio can help you with a GP referral to discuss if this is an option for you.

What should I do to avoid aggravating my Frozen Shoulder?

  • AVOID overhead activities, particularly during the acute phase.
  • DO concentrate on maintaining good posture to reduce strain on your shoulders
  • Consider Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory medication, talk to your pharmacist about this.
  • REMAIN ACTIVE, but avoid aggravating activities.
  • RECEIVE physiotherapy care to get your joints, ligaments and muscles de-loaded and moving freely with no restrictions.

Tips from our physiotherapists

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