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Frozen Shoulder? Here’s What to Do

You’ve certainly heard of the cold shoulder when someone is ignoring you but what about the actual condition, frozen shoulder? Frozen shoulder is known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that represents itself through stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. The signs and symptoms usually begin slowly and then worsen over time. The good news is it typically resolves over time but can last within one to three years. It’s unusual for a frozen shoulder to happen again to the same shoulder, but some people can develop it in the other shoulder.

Doctors aren’t entirely sure what causes frozen shoulder but your risk increases if you have recently been through a medical condition that prevents you from moving your arm. Examples of this include a broken arm, a mastectomy, or a stroke. If you’ve had an injury that makes it difficult to move your shoulder, make sure you talk to your doctor about exercises you can do to keep your shoulder moving and healing well.

It is possible that frozen shoulder will go away on its own. However, in the meantime, it can be painful. Some treatment options for frozen shoulder include range-of-motion exercises and in some cases, corticosteroids and numbing medications. In a small percentage of cases, arthroscopic surgery may be needed to loosen the joint capsule so that it can move more freely.

Frozen shoulder typically develops gradually in three stages. Each stage can last a number of months.

  • Freezing stage- During this stage, any movement of your shoulder causes pain and your range of motion starts to become limited.
  • Frozen stage- Your pain may begin to diminish during this stage. But your shoulder will become stiffer making using it more difficult.
  • Thawing stage- Your range of motion in your shoulder begins to improve again.

If your frozen shoulder is interfering with your sleep or your quality of life, talk to your doctor about possible treatment options.

If your shoulder is bothering you, schedule an appointment with us today. We’d love to discuss your treatment options and assess if you have a bigger issue. Call  (219) 795-3360 to schedule your appointment at one of our offices.

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