Frozen Shoulder or otherwise known as adhesive capsulitis is a condition of the right or left shoulder that we have been seeing in the office for years. It mostly is an “idiopathic” condition – meaning that generally there is no known cause or happens randomly (unfortunately). Sometimes the condition can occur after an old injury that was never fully corrected such as broken bones or overuse injuries like muscle strains or sprains.
There are three phases of the condition – The Painful/Freezing Stage, the Frozen stage, and the Thawing stage. During the painful stage the shoulder begins to have decreased range of motion and movement becomes more and more painful. During the frozen stage, the shoulder becomes increasingly stiff and range of motion is at its lowest. Pain may or may not begin to diminish slightly but usually the pain will not get worse in this stage. The final stage is the thawing stage in which range of motion begins to get better and pain subsides.
The shoulder joint has 6 planes of motion, - flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, and external/internal rotation. Usually, the telltale signs of frozen shoulder are painful and limited range of motion in ABDUCTION and EXTERNAL ROTATION. This condition tends to be misdiagnosed more often than not.
We have had much success in treating this condition here at Village Family Clinic – recovery takes some time but results have been positive. Treatment consists of mobilizing the shoulder joint as well as releasing and stretching the muscles of the rotator cuff and adjusting the cervical and thoracic spine. Laser therapy, electrical stimulation, and therapeutic ultrasound will help as well. If you or anyone you know may have this condition – give us a call!