Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is a painful condition that causes fibrosis of the glenohumeral joint (or shoulder joint) capsule, resulting in pain, stiffness and limited motion in affected patients. Most patients suffering from a frozen shoulder are women (around 70%) however, in men the risk of greater disability is higher. This condition not only affects joints, but also has effects on ligaments and muscles. Physicians can easily diagnose frozen shoulder syndrome through X-rays and MRIs however the path to recovery is rather long and requires a great commitment to physical therapy.
Understanding Frozen Shoulder Better
Frozen shoulder syndrome usually affects people between the ages of 40 and 60. Inflammation of the shoulder capsule can be caused due to an injury such as a fracture, a surgery near or of the shoulder area or diabetes. People with diabetes have been found to be at greater risk of developing a Frozen Shoulder on both sides and treatment can be quite difficult and time consuming. Two types of treatments are available for Frozen Shoulder. Conservative treatment options offer less invasive methods of treatments such as allopathic medicines, (including anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections), physical therapy and/or treatment with heat. Moreover, doctors suggest shoulder arthroscopy or shoulder surgery if the conservative treatments do not work.
Physical therapy is an essential part of the treatment and recovery process for anyone suffering from Frozen Shoulder. Conservative and invasive treatments such as surgery both require physical therapy to strengthen muscles and to enable the patient’s shoulder to perform optimally without pain. Physical therapy (PT) interventions are one of the most effective interventions for Frozen Shoulder according to various healthcare experts. There are three phases to the PT process;
- Freezing – this is the most painful phase of the PT process and the aim of the treatment at this point is to manage pain and to maintain movement in the shoulder by taking anti-inflammatory drugs, getting electrotherapy modalities to reduce pain and doing basic exercises such as the pendulum.PT interventions usually include therapeutic exercises, modalities and manual techniques. Different modalities such as heat, laser therapy, massage and ultrasound are used depending on the nature and extent of a patient’s condition.
- Frozen – At this stage, pain tends to reduce and the goal of treatment is to maintain the mobility acquired from the last stage and to keep pain at bay. Therapists do strengthening exercises with the patient to make the muscles strong; usually the exercises do not involve joint movements.
- Thawing – by this stage shoulder movement becomes easier. Therapists usually focus on strengthening exercises. Exercise aids such as rotator cuffs and resistance bands can be used to help the patient achieve full mobility in the shoulder.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Frozen Shoulder syndrome, Classic Rehabilitation offers effective and affordable Shoulder Therapy in Bedford, Arlington, and Grand Prairie. We have a team of dedicated and experience physical therapists that analyze the condition of your shoulder and build a customized therapy plan with you. Our therapists believe in not only managing your pain but also in making you mentally and physically independent so that you can live life to the fullest. Contact us today to discuss your shoulder problems.