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Tips for Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder)

Causes: The bones, ligaments and tendons around your shoulder joint are encased in a capsule of connective tissue. Frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule swells and thickens tightening the shoulder joint, restricting its movement and causes pain. Frozen shoulder is often initially ignored when symptoms first occur because the pain subsides within a few days so people think it is just a short term problem.  It will come back and when it does it is more painful and lasts longer.  Scar tissue and inflammation re-occur and continue to restrict the shoulder from moving properly. This problem takes a long time to see full results but it can be alleviated. Frozen shoulder has three stages:
  • Stage one: The "freezing" or painful stage, which may last from six weeks to nine months, and in which the patient has a slow onset of pain. As the pain worsens, the shoulder loses motion.
  • Stage two: The "frozen" or adhesive stage is marked by a slow improvement in pain but the stiffness remains. This stage generally lasts four months to nine months.
  • Stage three: The "thawing" or recovery, when shoulder motion slowly returns toward normal. This generally lasts five months to 26 months.
Risk Factors:
  1. Age: People 40 or older are at risk
  2. Repetitive jobs especially jobs which require raising the arms over the head
  3. Injuries to the shoulder which causes improper movement of the shoulder adding to inflammation.
Treatment: Inflammation must be decreased before exercises can really be beneficial.   Scar tissue must be broken and new healthy tissue must take its place.  Sound Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization can decrease scar tissue and increase mobility.  We can also train your shoulder to move properly to prevent further injury.


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