From Our Physical Therapists: What is "frozen shoulder"?

You may have heard, or experienced it yourself - frozen shoulder - but what is it and what can be done to help this painful condition? 

Adhesive capsulitis is a stiffening or scarring of the capsular tissues surrounding the should joint that causes pain and loss of motion.  The cause of the type of inflammation and injury is debatable and still uncertain.  Some risk factors for frozen shoulder include immobilization after injury occurs, surgery, fracture and stroke.  Women over 40 years of age are at higher risk. 

Patients will often come to physical therapy after they have had a cortisone injection for their frozen shoulder wondering why it is still "frozen".  Injections of this kind can help at different healing stages with pain, but they are not the cure.  If your car tires are out of alignment and you continue to drive with them they will cause wear and tear on your car.  If your shoulders are out of alignment and you continue to function with them this way, you will cause wear and tear to your shoulder tissues - no injection can change your alignment.  

A physical therapist can help you differentiate frozen shoulder from other shoulder issues.  If you do have frozen shoulder your PT will teach you about proper alignment and mechanics of your shoulder.  This things will help you regain your range of motion, strengthen, and decrease your risk for other injuries.

If you have shoulder pain or loss of motion, physical therapy may be able to help.  Lucy D'Aponte, physical therapist and yoga therapists uses manual techniques, therapeutic exercises, and her many years of experience to support your healing.  Schedule your initial evaluation with Lucy today to improve your comfort and maximize your function in our friendly, creative and skilled clinic.