Frozen shoulder

In this blog post, we will address an all too common condition amongst individuals within the 40 to 60 age group. Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is a condition that causes pain, discomfort and stiffness in the shoulder joint.

 

Image: Harvard Health Medical School

Image: Harvard Health Medical School

 

Someone suffering from frozen shoulder often finds it hard to move their arms due to the stiffness/tightness, further affecting their normal range of shoulder movements. Having a frozen shoulder can make performing simple everyday tasks challenging like washing or combing hair, dressing, driving and it can also disrupt sleep.

Unfortunately, frozen shoulders is a condition that is much more common for, but not limited to females and the cause of this condition is not clear. It is thought that a possible cause would be the scar tissues as a result of a previous shoulder injury. Without proper rehabilitation, the scar tissues may cause the shoulder capsule to thicken, eventually limiting the movement of the shoulder.

Individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes, hyper/hypothyroidism, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive or other lung diseases are more at risk to develop frozen shoulders.

 

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Image: Google

 

To help identify the severity of an individuals’ frozen shoulder condition, our team at Spinefit will assess the condition as follows:

  • PHASE I – “Freezing” (Painful) Phase:
    Pain prevalent around the shoulder joint(s), stiffness and range of motion restricted.
  • PHASE II – “Frozen” Phase:
    Pain is slowly decreasing however stiffness and range of motion is still limited with a possibility of it getting worse. Muscles around the shoulder begin to weaken significantly as they have not been activated.
  • PHASE III – Recovery Phase:
    The pain and stiffness begins to ease and there is a slight improvement to the range of motion.

So how would an individual with a frozen shoulder be medically  treated? Some General Practitioners may prescribe painkillers, corticosteroid injections and in some extreme cases, surgery. However, at Spinefit we do not prescribe any medication; and our treatments are non-invasive in nature.

At Spinefit we treat individuals with frozen shoulder(s) using either a combination of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), active physiotherapy/rehabilitation or in some cases dry needling (we will have more information on this treatment soon).

For the ESWT treatment, we use a device that uses high pressure waves to stimulate metabolic reactions for positive accelerated healing. This results in a reduction of pain, increased blood circulation and activates stem cells to improve the ongoing healing process.

 

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ESWT treatment for frozen shoulder

 

With the additional component of active physiotherapy/rehabilitation exercises and therapy, Practice Members who have kept to their recommended programmes have seen great improvements to their frozen shoulder condition. In some cases where the combination of treatments previously mentioned are not sufficient, the rehab specialist may introduce dry needling into the treatment programme.

We have seen fantastic results from our approach we have towards our Practice Members’ frozen shoulder treatments. If you are someone who’s having a severe frozen shoulder condition, why not make an appointment with our team for a consultation and assessment today. Do not let this condition affect your quality of life.