Adhesive capsulitis, more commonly known as frozen shoulder, is a painful condition that causes increasing stiffness and low mobility of the shoulder joint. Inflammation, excessive scar tissue and thickening of the joint and ligaments can cause severe pain and restricted movement, and if left untreated can become worse.
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Symptoms of frozen shoulder
It is unknown why frozen shoulder occurs, although it is more common amongst patients who have been immobilised for a period following illness, injury or surgery and is often worse at night. The condition is also more common in patients suffering with diabetes.
The symptoms of frozen shoulder usually develop in three stages, each stage lasting a few months at a time. The first phase is known as the freezing/painful stage where the shoulder’s range of motion becomes limited and any movement of the shoulder causes pain. This stage can last anywhere between three to nine months and often patients will not seek treatment in the belief the symptoms will disappear on their own.
The second stage is known as the frozen stage and pain may start to reduce. However, the shoulder joint becomes much stiffer causing movement to be significantly reduced. This phase typically lasts between four and 12 months.
The third stage begins when shoulder movement starts to improve and is known as the thawing stage. As shoulder mobility improves, pain reduces. This phase can last between 12 and 42 months.
Before treatment can begin it’s important to rule out other more serious causes of a stiff and painful shoulder. Visiting a specialist clinic such as RRMG is vital in achieving successful results.
Treatments for frozen shoulder
The primary treatment for frozen shoulder is to relieve pain and return normal motion range to the patient. The clinic may recommend anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and pain.
Depending on the individual treatment plan, a corticosteroid injection into the shoulder joint may be offered to reduce tissue swelling and reinstate movement.
Alongside medication, physiotherapy can work to stretch the joint capsule and strengthen the muscles that surround the shoulder joint. At RRMG, our team of dedicated physiotherapists can diagnose and treat the symptoms of frozen shoulder. They will tailor a treatment plan to support patients get back to a normal pain-free life.
Osteopathy is another treatment option for frozen shoulder and uses manipulation to stretch the shoulder joint. Our osteopaths are highly skilled in treating health conditions such as frozen shoulder which involve the muscles, connective tissue, ligaments, and joints. They work by looking at the body as a whole and can provide specific exercises to bring back movement and reduce the pain associated with frozen shoulder.
EMANUELE CALABRESE BSC OST (HONS), DO, OSTEOPATHY
A former professional basketball player, Emanuele is a passionate and enthusiastic Italian Osteopath. Emanuele’s professionalism, passion and a non-judgemental approach are part of his everyday clinical practice. His motto is “Everyone is different, and therefore has to be treated differently.”
44 (0)20 7112 5400
R R M G
10-11 Bulstrode Place