Physiotherapy for Frozen Shoulder
What is Frozen Shoulder?
Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition where there is pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. The connective tissue surrounding the joint becomes inflamed and can develop scar tissue, which results in a decreased range of motion and chronic pain. To help joints move more easily there is a natural fluid, called synovial fliud, that is present in the joint to help lubercate it. In a person with frozen shuolder, they are found to have less synovial fluid in the shoulder joint.
Risk Factors for Frozen Shoulder:
The exact cause for developing frozen shoulder is still uknown; however there are certain factors that put individals at a greater risk of developing the condition. Adults over the age of 40 are the most commonly affected age group that suffers from frozen sholders. Women are more liekly than men to develop frozen shoulder. Individuals that have suffer from prolonged immobility of the shoulder joint due to other injuries including a broken arm, rotator cuff tear or recovering from sugery, are also at an increased risk offrozen shoulder. People that have chronic diseases are also more at risk, including diabetes, heart disease, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and Parkinson’s disease.
Frozen Shoulder Stages:
Frozen shoulder normally develops slowly and develops through 3 different stages, which can last up to a few moths per stage.
- Painful stage – During this stage pain starts to develop and gets worse at night. The shoulder will also start to become stiff
- Frozen stage – In this stage, the shoulder range of motion decreases substantially. Pain does not get worse and can sometimes get better.
- Thawing stage – During this stage the range of motion increases and syptoms start to fade but can reoccur
Frozen Shoulder Pharmaceutical Treatment:
Usually, over the counter pain killers are used to reduce pain and swelling of the shoulder joint. In the acute stages ice can also be used to help control pain and reduce inflamation. Once out of the acute stage, heat can be used to help increase the range of motion.
Frozen Shoulder Physiotherapy Treatment:
Physiotherapy is used to increase the mobility of the joint by prescribing gentle stretching and range of motion exercises.
Acupuncture works holistically to reduce tension and pain in the shoulder, while freeing up range of motion.
Shockwave Therapy uses strong acoustic sound waves to break down adhesions in the capsule.
Laser Therapy decreases inflammation and pain, while increasing circulation to the shoulder.