Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, happens when the shoulder capsule thickens and becomes stiff and tight. It is not known why this happens but when it does the shoulder is painful, stiff and becomes very hard to move. Although the cause is not clear it does happen more in women between the ages of 40 and 60 and can develop after a shoulder has been immobilized for a period of time due to surgery or other injury. There are 3 stages to frozen shoulder:
Stage 1: Freezing
In this stage the pain begins to increase and you start to have a decrease in your range of motion. This stage typically lasts from 6 weeks to 9 months.
Stage 2: Frozen
The pain might improve slightly at this stage but the stiffness makes daily activities difficult. This stage can last 4-6 months.
Stage 3: Thawing
At this time the range of motion in the shoulder starts to improve and strength can be regained. Complete return to normal can take 6 months to 2 years.
If you have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder physiotherapy is a great tool to help you recover. The main focus of a physiotherapy program will be pain management and restoring motion and strength. A treatment plan for frozen shoulder will include stretching and range of motion exercises as well as a variety of exercises to increase strength in the shoulder. If you’ve been told you have frozen shoulder or think you may be experiencing symptoms of it be sure to contact us at A Body In Motion Rehabilitation and we’ll set up an assessment for you and get you started on your road to recovery!