Frozen shoulder is also called adhesive capsulitis. It’s a common condition where the articular shoulder capsule stiffens and swells. It refers specifically to the shoulder joint. The shoulder has a ball and socket joint, and the proximal humerus fits into the shoulder blade. Frozen shoulder is believed to cause the formation of scar tissue in the shoulder, causing pain and loss of movement.

Risk Factors and Symptoms of Frozen ShoulderOrthopedist examining shoulder of patient

Common risk factors include:

  • Those over 40 years of age
  • Being female
  • Arm fracture or recent surgery
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Parkinson’s disease

The most common symptoms of frozen shoulder are pain and stiff shoulder joints. The symptoms typically develop gradually and in three stages. In the painful stage, there is pain in the shoulder, limited movement and stiffness. In the adhesive stage, the shoulder becomes increasingly stiff. In the thawing stage, movement improves. Sometimes, frozen shoulder should will go away on its own. But, when it doesn’t, it’s time to contact a medical professional.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Frozen Shoulder

Diagnosis is typically determined by symptoms and a basic test by a doctor who presses certain parts of the shoulder. X-rays and MRIs can show structural problems with a frozen shoulder. Over-the-counter meds like aspirin and ibuprofen can help relieve pain due to frozen shoulder. Exercise may help reduce stiffness, and hot or cold compresses can help reduce inflammation and stiffness. Corticosteroid injections into the shoulder joint can help alleviate pain associated with frozen shoulder. A shoulder surgeon or orthopedic surgeon can perform a shoulder arthroscopy. During this procedure, a small tube is inserted into the shoulder joint to remove scar tissue or adhesions.

Southeast Orthopedic Specialists has a team of shoulder surgeons who can perform surgery to help alleviate pain and loss of function from frozen shoulder. They also have trained physical therapists to provide patients with a hands-on approach to treating frozen shoulder. Their therapists work very closely with the patient and shoulder surgeon for the best outcome.

If you’re suffering from frozen shoulder, call Southeast Orthopedic Specialists for an evaluation. You’ll receive a one-on-one consultation to determine the best course of treatment. They’ve helped many others and can help get you on the road to recovery.

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