Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that starts with stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. This condition usually starts gradually, worsens over several weeks or months and can be self-limiting and resolving within 1-3 years.

People at risk for frozen shoulder are those who have an episode of decreased range of motion to begin with. An example would be post-surgical where you are told to limit your shoulder movement to speed recovery. An example of this would be following neck surgery.

Treatment for frozen shoulder involves range-of-motion exercises, manipulation, physical therapy modalities including electrical muscle stimulation and ultrasound. Sometimes corticosteroids are injected into the joint capsule to help reduce inflammation. In a small percentage of cases, arthroscopic surgery may be indicated to loosen the joint capsule so that it can move more freely.

It is rare to have frozen shoulder reoccur on the same side, but many people will have frozen shoulder return several years later affecting the opposite side.

Frozen shoulder is usually broken down into several stages:

Freezing stage: This is at the onset where pain starts in your shoulder with no history of recent trauma. You start to notice a decrease in your range of motion.

Frozen stage: The pain starts to decrease but so does your range of motion.

Thawing stage: You start to notice an improvement in your overall range of motion.

If you or someone you know suffers from frozen shoulder and is looking for treatment or answers to questions please give our office a call to make an appointment. If you have specific questions ask to speak with Dr. Kevin E. Crowley. Our office is located in Alexandria, Ky. and we offer same-day appointments.

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