Frozen shoulder can be an extremely debilitating condition. In this blog we will outline what the condition consists of and treatment options to overcome it.
What is Frozen Shoulder?
Frozen Shoulder is also known as Adhesive Capsulitis, which is a joint condition. When evaluating this condition, allied health practitioners may find a distinct reduction in range of motion of the glenohumeral joint (shoulder) through a clinical assessment.
What are the causes of Frozen Shoulder?
There are a number of causes for this condition, although the main ones are the joint capsule being rigid or inflamed. Soft tissue (eg. muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues) stiffness or tension can cause the shoulder joint capsule to be stuck in one spot. With frozen shoulder there are 3 stages of development and they include:
Freezing stage - This is the most painful stage, where any movement of the shoulder hurts.
Frozen stage - The pain in this stage may start to subside but the shoulder becomes very rigid, making it hard for everyday use.
Thawing stage - The shoulder starts to increase in movement.
Frozen shoulder is more often conceived in the non-dominant arm although on some occasions it can be developed in both arms. Pain for people with this condition is often felt on the outside of the shoulder and also within the armpit. The pain is usually experienced at night, affecting ability to sleep. Frozen shoulder can happen over a period of four months to even up to two years if untreated.
Frozen shoulder can follow on from soft tissue conditions such as tendinitis of the rotator cuff (group of shoulder muscles) or bursitis in the shoulder as well as systematic conditions such as:
chronic heart and lung diseases
other visceral (organ) conditions
Frozen shoulder is prevalent in both males and females aged between 40 to 60 years. This condition is more common in people who are inactive over those who live a more active lifestyle.
Treatment options for Frozen Shoulder...
Remedial massage can be an effective treatment option for the dreaded frozen shoulder. This can be a quite lengthy process and often taxing on a person. The aim of this massage treatment is to create balance throughout the shoulder by targeting the rotator cuff and other muscles that support and stabilize the shoulder joint. This will be achieved by lengthening and decreasing the pain of the shoulder soft tissues and associated regions.
A massage treatment plan will be constructed to achieve the best result possible for the client. This will consist of completing a subjective and objective examination on the client’s condition. Information will be gathered from range of motion and special testing of the shoulder. Palpation (touching) will be utilised to identify any changes in soft tissue or to reproduce the client’s pain within the exact site.
Various massage techniques would be used on the soft tissues at fault. Stretching will also be performed on the client. Self-help strategies will be outlined along with short and long term goals for the client’s condition.
If you have frozen shoulder or are experiencing some of the symptoms, feel free to book a remedial massage appointment on the website or call our reception team on 03 9498 0205. We would be happy to assist you!
Thank you and be well
How can we help you?
At Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy our goal is to get you moving pain free as soon as possible. But, we also want you to actually move better and live a healthier, more active and fulfilling life!
If your sports, fitness training or work has been wearing your body down, book in with one of our expert physiotherapists or massage therapists so we can help you reduce your pain and get you moving again.
You can make an appointment by calling 03 9498 0205 or booking online.