You might not realize how valuable your shoulders are until one becomes immobilized. Characterized by pain and stiffness, a frozen shoulder can grow increasingly worse over time and last as long as three years. You don’t have to attempt to grin and bear these symptoms, however.
Our expert team at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri, diagnoses and treats chronic shoulder pain conditions so that you can get back to your usual daily life.
Take a few moments to learn more about frozen shoulder, including the causes that lie beneath.
Frozen shoulder symptoms
Also known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder usually develops gradually in three stages, each of which can last for numerous months.
During the freezing stage, any shoulder movement causes pain as your range of motion decreases. Your pain might worsen at night, making restful sleep difficult.
The frozen stage comes next, during which your pain may go down while shoulder stiffness goes up. And finally, during the thawing stage, your range of motion starts to improve.
What brings on frozen shoulder
Most anyone can develop frozen shoulder, but it’s more likely if you’re age 40 or older, female, or are recovering from an injury or surgery. Certain diseases, such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and thyroid disease may also increase your risk.
Frozen shoulder commonly results from inflammation or immobility caused by factors such as a shoulder injury or fracture or a stroke. Rotator cuff tendinitis and bursitis can also contribute.
Once you have one of these injuries or conditions, tIssue surrounding the joint and holding it together can become inflamed as scarring forms. These scars, known as adhesions, can trigger pain and restrict movement in the joint. At that point, you have the beginnings of frozen shoulder.
What to do about frozen shoulder
Even though frozen shoulder tends to diminish on its own, that can take quite a while and make daily tasks difficult while disrupting your emotional well-being. And you shouldn’t have to attempt to deal with debilitating pain or stiffness for months on end.
Once your provider at Northland Orthopedic & Sports Medicine has diagnosed you with frozen shoulder, they’ll recommend a customized treatment plan aimed at reducing your pain and increasing your mobility.
Your frozen shoulder treatment may include:
- Cortisone injections
- Physical therapy
- Over-the-counter or prescription medication
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
- Shoulder manipulation
- Surgery, for severe cases
To learn more about frozen shoulder or get the care you need, call Northland Orthopedic & Sports Medicine or request an appointment on our website today.