What is a frozen shoulder?
A frozen shoulder is stiffness and pain in the shoulder.
How does it occur?
A frozen shoulder usually starts after a shoulder injury that causes pain and does not allow you to move your shoulder enough. Sometimes, a frozen shoulder may occur for no known reason. If you have limited movement of your shoulder for weeks, months, or years because of an injury, the capsule around the shoulder joint may get very stiff. Your shoulder may develop scar tissue, or adhesions, in the joint.
What are the symptoms?
Your shoulder will lose the ability to move in all directions. You may not be able to lift your arm above your head or be able to scratch your back. You may feel grinding or pain when moving your shoulder.
How is it diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will examine your shoulder and may take X-rays. You may also have an MRI. In some cases, you may have an arthrogram (an X-ray or an MRI of your shoulder after dye is injected into your shoulder joint).
How is it treated?
To treat this condition:
Put an ice pack, gel pack, or package of frozen vegetables, wrapped in a cloth on the area every 3 to 4 hours, for up to 20 minutes at a time.
Your provider may give you a shot of a corticosteroid medicine into your shoulder joint to help with pain and swelling
Take an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen, or other medicine as directed by your provider. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) may cause stomach bleeding and other problems. These risks increase with age. Read the label and take as directed. Unless recommended by your healthcare provider, do not take for more than 10 days.
Your healthcare provider will probably send you to physical therapy for a supervised exercise program. You will also be given exercises to do at home. Follow your provider’s instructions for doing exercises to help you recover.
If your shoulder doesn’t get better with exercises and medicine, you may need a procedure to break up the scar tissue in your shoulder. For this procedure you are put to sleep with a general anesthetic and your provider moves your shoulder in various directions to break up the adhesions (bands of scar tissue). You may need arthroscopic surgery to see if there are other causes for your frozen shoulder.
How long will the effects last?
The length of recovery depends on many factors such as your age and health, and if you have had a previous shoulder injury. The effects of a frozen shoulder can be long lasting and can get worse without treatment.
When can I return to my normal activities?
Everyone recovers from an injury at a different rate. Return to your activities depends on how soon your shoulder recovers, not by how many days or weeks it has been since your injury has occurred. In general, the longer you have symptoms before you start treatment, the longer it will take to get better. The goal is to return to your normal activities as soon as is safely possible. If you return too soon you may worsen your injury.
You may safely return to your normal activities when:
Your injured shoulder has full range of motion without pain.
Your injured shoulder has regained normal strength compared to the uninjured shoulder.
How can I prevent a frozen shoulder?
After you have had an injury to your shoulder it is important that you do not limit your shoulder motion for a prolonged period of time. It is important to do your shoulder rehabilitation exercises as they have been prescribed. If you feel that you are losing range of motion in your shoulder you should see your healthcare provider.
Frozen Shoulder Exercises
Wand exercise, Flexion: Stand upright and hold a stick in both hands, palms down. Stretch your arms by lifting them over your head, keeping your arms straight. Hold for 5 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Wand exercise, Extension: Stand upright and hold a stick in both hands behind your back. Move the stick away from your back. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Relax and return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Wand exercise, External rotation: Lie on your back and hold a stick in both hands, palms up. Your upper arms should be resting on the floor with your elbows at your sides and bent 90 degrees. Use your uninjured arm to push your injured arm out away from your body. Keep the elbow of your injured arm at your side while it is being pushed. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Wand exercise, Internal rotation: Stand with your uninjured arm behind your head holding the end of a stick. Put your injured arm behind your back at your waist and grab the stick. Pull the stick up behind your back by straightening the elbow of your uninjured arm and bending the elbow of your injured arm. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then go back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Wand exercise, Shoulder abduction and adduction: Stand and hold a stick with both hands, palms facing away from your body. Rest the stick against the front of your thighs. Use your uninjured arm to push your injured arm out to the side and up as high as possible. Keep your arms straight. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Scapular active range of motion: Stand and shrug your shoulders up and hold for 5 seconds. Then squeeze your shoulder blades back and together and hold 5 seconds. Next, pull your shoulder blades downward as if putting them in your back pocket. Relax. Repeat this sequence 10 times.
Pectoralis stretch: Stand in an open doorway or corner with both hands slightly above your head on the door frame or wall. Slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulders. Hold 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Biceps stretch: Stand facing a wall (about 6 inches away from the wall). Raise your injured arm out to your side and place the thumb side of your hand against the wall (palm down). Keep your arm straight. Rotate your body in the opposite direction of the raised arm until you feel a stretch in your biceps. Hold 15 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Sleeper stretch: Lie on your injured side with your hips and knees flexed and your arm straight out in front of you. Bend the elbow on your injured side to a right angle so that your fingers are pointing toward the ceiling. Then use your other hand to gently push your arm down toward the floor. Keep your shoulder blades lightly squeezed together as you do this exercise. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
- Frozen Shoulder (mycerebellarstrokerecovery.com)
- Shoulders: As Strong as Your Weakest Link (outpostcrossfit.wordpress.com)
- Finger Dislocation (rhvillegas.wordpress.com)
- Ask Dr. K: Stretching, strengthening exercises relieve frozen shoulder (goerie.com)
Posted on January 12, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged Adhesive capsulitis of shoulder, Conditions and Diseases, exercises to do at home, Flexion, Glenohumeral joint, Health, healthy-living, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Physical exercise, scar tissue, Shoulder. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.