Adhesive capsulitis, also called frozen shoulder, often affects people over the age of 40 – especially women. This condition causes pain and extreme stiffness in the shoulder, limiting your range of motion and making it almost impossible to move.
As the condition is developing, a dull or aching pain is often felt around the upper arm or outer shoulder area. The exact cause of the condition is still unclear, but diabetes, thyroid disorders, or long periods of inactivity – including recovering from surgery – can put you at a higher risk of developing this shoulder condition.
The stages of frozen shoulder are freezing, frozen, and thawing – and the stages can take more than a year. The frozen stage usually makes the shoulder immovable but not painful; when the shoulder begins to heal, that is the thawing stage.
Let’s talk about some of the treatments that can help heal frozen shoulder more quickly and more effectively:
Physical therapy involves various stretches and exercises designed and recommended by your therapist. They will develop a specialized exercise plan to help stretch your shoulder and regain its range of motion, restore your strength, and relieve the pain.
You should begin to feel improvement within a couple of months; if you do not, talk to your physical therapist about alternative exercises, and find out whether you’re perhaps performing them incorrectly. If there is no progress after six months of daily exercises, you may need to consult with your doctor for other treatments.
The common medications for people with frozen shoulder include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medicine. These medications aim to treat the pain as well as reduce inflammation around your joints.
Steroid injections may also help. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory drug that may be injected directly into your shoulder to provide relief.
Even something as simple as applying a covered ice pack on your shoulder for 15 minutes several times a day can help reduce the pain in your shoulder. Be sure to continue performing your exercises exactly as your physical therapist showed you in order to attain maximum effectiveness of all of these treatments.
Shoulder Manipulation and Surgery
These more invasive treatments may be recommended by your doctor if you are experiencing no results from the options listed above.
While under general anesthesia, your doctor will begin to force your shoulder to move. This motion will stretch or tear the tissues that are preventing your shoulder from moving.
Through this procedure, an increase of movement can be observed. There will be some pain and healing involved after the shoulder has been physically manipulated in this aggressive way.
The operation used to treat frozen shoulder is shoulder arthroscopy. In this procedure, the doctor will cut through the tight portions of your joint capsule. A small tube is then inserted to remove any scar tissue from the shoulder joint.
After having either manipulation or surgery, physical therapy will be needed to assist in your recovery. The recovery period may last for up to six months.
Frozen Shoulder Treatment in North Dakota
Treatment for frozen shoulder typically consists of physical therapy, pain medications, and sometimes also surgery. Although the condition may subside on its own over one to two years, your shoulder’s range of motion will improve much more quickly and effectively with medical assistance.
Is your frozen shoulder becoming a painful or debilitating problem? If so, contact our team at The Bone & Joint Center to schedule a consultation. Our orthopedists are here to provide quality treatment and rehabilitation for patients with either general or specific orthopedic conditions.
You may contact us today by calling (800) 424-2663 or request an appointment online now. We look forward to helping you get back to the active lifestyle you enjoy!