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Frozen Shoulder: Causes and how Physical Therapy Can Help.

 

Frozen shoulder is also known as Adhesive capsulitis and it is a shoulder condition that limits your range of motion when the tissues in your shoulder joint become thicker and tighter, scar tissue develops over time, and as a result, your shoulder joint doesn’t have enough space to rotate properly.

It affects women more than men and is typically diagnosed in people over the age of 45. Common symptoms include swelling, pain, and stiffness. You’re more likely to have the condition if you’re between the ages of 40 and 60.

Symptoms of frozen shoulder can vary depending on the stage and may also worsen over time. Below are  symptoms of each stage:

Frozen Shoulder: Causes and how Physical Therapy Can Help.

  • Freezing stage: In this stage any movement of the shoulder causes pain. It usually aches when you’re not using it, but the pain increases and becomes “sharp” with movement. You’ll begin to limit shoulder motion during this period and protect the shoulder by using it less. The movement loss is most noticeable in “external rotation” (this is when you rotate your arm away from your body), but you might start to lose motion when you raise your arm or reach behind your back.

           This pain leads the person to not want to move to cause a range of motion in the shoulder to become limited.

  • Frozen stage: In this stage, the symptoms may have persisted for 9 to 14 months, and you are likely to experience a greatly decreased range of shoulder movement. During the early part of this stage, there is still a substantial amount of pain. However, towards the end of this stage, pain decreases and occurs only when you move your shoulder as far as you can move it. Pain is lessening in this stage, but shoulder movement is difficult and very limited.
  • Thawing stage: Symptoms in this stage last for  12 to 15 months, and there is a big decrease in pain, especially at night. You still have a limited range of movement, but your ability to complete your daily activities involving overhead motion is improving at a rapid rate.

 

Below are ways Physiotherapists treat and manage Frozen Shoulder:

1- Exercises and manual therapy: 

If you experience a frozen shoulder, physical therapists can help you maintain as much range of motion as possible and will help reduce your pain by using a combination of range-of-motion exercises and manual therapy (hands-on) techniques to maintain shoulder movement. They may also make use of heat and ice treatments (modalities) to help relax the muscles prior to other forms of treatment.

2- Home-exercise program: 

Physical therapists will give you a gentle home-exercise program designed to help reduce your loss of motion. You will be warned about being overly aggressive with stretching in this stage because it might make your shoulder pain worse. Your physical therapist will match your treatment activities and intensity to your symptoms, and educate you on the appropriate use of the affected arm. They will carefully monitor your progress to ensure a safe healing procedure is followed. 

 3- Stretching and Strengthening  Exercises:

 Your physical therapist may introduce more intense stretching techniques to encourage greater movement and flexibility, and also strengthening exercises to target the shoulder area as well as your core muscles. Regular stretching and exercises are useful in both the short term and long term for reducing pain and increasing range of motion in frozen shoulders.

Conclusively,  Physiotherapists can help you set goals and reach them using exercises and other healing modalities. They can also ensure you don’t over-exercise and cause more damage to your shoulder.

It’s important to have professional physical therapy guidance so that you can tailor your exercise program to your level of pain and the stage of your frozen shoulder.

Tips and guidelines on Your First Physiotherapy Clinic Appointment.(Opens in a new browser tab)

Here at Blue Tree Clinic Dubai. Our specialists will take a proper look at your condition and provide treatment plans that best suits you.  Kindly visit our website www.bluetreeclinics.com to learn more about how we can help you. 


Call us now on +971 4 348 8262 

info@bluetreeclinics.com