What is a “Frozen” Shoulder?

2017-06-20T13:24:08+00:00 September 21st, 2016|
  • Man holding his painful shoulder

frozen-shoulderFrozen shoulder is one of the most unusual musculoskeletal disorders. Your shoulder will mysteriously start to get very stiff and painful, often for no particular reason. Give it time and usually it will self-resolve in approximately 10 months, but can go on for up to 2 years. It seems to be more common after the age of forty, and if you also have diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

A frozen shoulder, officially called “Adhesive Capsulitis”, often goes through three distinct phases: freezing (painful and stiff), frozen (less pain, but stiff) and thawing (movement returns).

It is important to remember that frozen shoulder is a biological process, not a biomechanical problem, ie it is not a rotator cuff or repetitive strain injury. The shoulder joint becomes stiff due to adhesions in the capsule.

While there is no “cure” for frozen shoulder, it is vital to keep the joint moving and maintain strength, to prevent it becoming too stiff: “Motion is Lotion!” A Physiotherapist can show you exercises to stretch and strengthen the shoulder, and will also use hands-on techniques to mobilise the joint. Massage Therapy is also very useful in reducing muscle stiffness and pain, and improving circulation.

If you are interested in talking to an experienced physiotherapy about Frozen Shoulder please call Physio In Motion today.  You can reach Maureen of our home care team by calling (905) 667-3979 ext 1.  You can reach our clinic location at 700 Main Street East in Hamilton by calling 905-218-6556.