What is frozen shoulder?
Frozen shoulder is characterized by the stiffness, pain, and hardening of the shoulder joint. It occurs when this the connective tissue (bones, ligaments, and tendons) thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint, restricting its movement.
Frozen shoulder is most common in those who are covering from a medical condition, injury, or a procedure that prevents them from moving their arm. Doctors aren't sure why this happens to some people.
There are three stages of frozen shoulder:
- The freezing stage is when any type of movement in your shoulder causes pain and your range of motion starts to become limited.
- The frozen stage is when the pain may begin to diminish. However, your shoulder becomes stiffer and using it becomes more difficult.
- The thawing stage is when the range of motion in your shoulder begins to improve.
Signs and symptoms of Frozen Shoulder
Signs and symptoms of frozen shoulder will begin gradually, worsen over time, and then resolve within one to three years. The first symptom is shoulder pain and it is most noticeable at night.
Risk Factors and Causes of Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder usually occurs as a result (secondary form) of injury. Rheumatic diseases, infections, inflammation or osteoarthritis can also lead to frozen shoulder. As stated above, frozen shoulder is most common after long-term immobilization of the shoulder joint. Operative procedures or accidents can trigger frozen shoulder.
The causes of spontaneous onset frozen shoulder (primary form) are unclear. A number of doctors suspect that metabolic diseases such as diabetes or hyperactivity of the thyroid gland could play a part.
Prevention of Frozen Shoulder
In certain cases, it is very important to immobilize the shoulder after an injury or an operation. We have special immobilization orthoses for this. If you've had an injury that makes it difficult to move your shoulder, you can talk to your doctor about exercises you can do in order to maintain the range of motion in your shoulder joint.
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