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And What To Do If You Think You Have it

Are you suffering with shoulder pain and stiffness that is significantly limiting your daily activities and tends to be worse at night? Has this come on gradually without any sudden injury?


If so, you may be suffering from frozen shoulder or Adhesive Capsulitis, where the capsule of the shoulder joint becomes inflamed and shrinks causing pain and tightness.


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What causes frozen shoulder?

There is are no identified causes but there are risk factors for developing frozen shoulder which include:

  • History of previous injury, surgery or prolonged immobility of the shoulder

  • Diabetes, thyroid problems, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease

  • Being aged over 40 / Females are more susceptible than males

There Are Three Stages To Frozen Shoulder

  1. Freezing Stage (2-9 months): the shoulder starts to become increasingly stiff to move and painful

  2. Frozen Stage (4-6 months): the pain may start to subside during this stage, however, the shoulder can become stiffer and difficult to use

  3. Thawing Stage (6 months to 2 years): the pain reduces and the movement of the shoulder starts to improve

How Is It Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of frozen shoulder is done by the case history and signs, and symptoms, MRI or Ultrasound scans may be used to exclude other shoulder conditions but there is no scan for frozen shoulder.

How Long Does It Take To Get Better?

Frozen shoulder symptoms can last approximately 1.5-2yrs, but may be longer in other cases. This is why it is important to get an accurate diagnosis and start treatment early on to address Frozen Shoulder.


What Can I Do About Frozen Shoulder?

Treatment for frozen shoulder is aimed at reducing the pain and maintaining as much mobility in the shoulder as possible.


This can be achieved by having a specialist, such as an Osteopath, assess your shoulder and provide hands on treatment to reduce the pain and improve the range of motion in the shoulder. 


An Osteopath will also address associated areas of the body to prevent other problems from developing as the shoulder is healing. More importantly, they will prescribe the right exercises, stretches and lifestyle advice so you can improve the movement in the shoulder and speed up your recovery.


Don’t wait for things to improve if you suspect you have frozen shoulder, consult one of our expert Osteopaths who will be able to diagnose the problem and provide the right treatment and advice.

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