Frozen shoulder is also known as adhesive capsulitis. It is a very painful condition in which the shoulder can become partially or completely unmovable. Around one in twenty adults will suffer from frozen shoulder in their lifetime and the condition can take a considerable period of time to resolve. Symptoms can appear out of the blue or be triggered by an injury to the shoulder. Following the onset of the pain, the shoulder then becomes stiff and the condition gets worse over a period of months or years. A “thawing” phase will then often see movement return and the pain subside but frozen shoulder can take two years or more to resolve itself.
The lining of the shoulder joint is known as the capsule and is usually an elastic and flexible structure which affords a wide range of movement in the shoulder. Frozen shoulder causes the capsule to become inflamed and to lose its normal elasticity thus the characteristic stiffness sets in.
The precise reasons why frozen shoulder develops are not fully understood but there are factors which are known to increase your risk of developing the condition:
- A shoulder injury
- Heart disease and strokes
- Dupuytren’s contracture (thickened tissue in the hands)
Most sufferers of frozen shoulder are between the ages of 40 and 60 and the condition is more common in woman than in men. The majority of sufferers will eventually improve or recover but treatment for frozen shoulder can help to reduce the pain and to improve the movement of the joint until it fully heals.
Osteopathy and Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder is a long term issue which can seriously interfere with your everyday life and so it is well worth seeking treatment to ease your pain and to speed up your recovery. If you experiencing frozen shoulder symptoms then we should be able to help you. We can assist you to gain an accurate diagnosis and to address any lifestyle issues which may be causing or exacerbating your condition. It is important to keep your shoulder mobile and we can use joint manipulation, joint articulation and massage of the soft tissues to improve mobility. We can also recommend gentle exercises and lifestyle changes which will aid your recovery.
Our treatment of frozen shoulder is tailored to the individual’s needs. There is no quick fix for frozen shoulder but it could be possible to achieve recovery in months instead of years.