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Frozen Shoulder

Pain, stiffness, and loss of motion in your shoulder joint are signs of a frozen shoulder.

Bone and Joint Specialists of Winchester helps treat frozen shoulders. You can schedule appointments with our surgeons or physical therapists for evaluation and treatment.  Our therapists can see you for initial evaluation and treatment for two weeks without a prescription. For more information, call us today or schedule an appointment online.

What is the main cause of frozen shoulder?

The ligaments, bones, and tendons that make up your shoulder joint are encased in a capsule of connective tissue.  A frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule thickens around the shoulder joint, becoming less flexible and restricting its movement. The clinic name for this process is adhesive capsulitis.  Doctors are not fully sure why most cases of frozen shoulder occur, or why this happens to the shoulder but not other joints.  But we do know it is more likely in patients with diabetes, females over the age of 40, females, thyroid disorders, and Parkinson’s disease.  Other people can develop frozen shoulder after previous shoulder surgery, or if they have disorders of the cervical discs in the neck.  Frozen shoulders will often develop after injuries such as rotator cuff tears, arthritis, and fractures of the shoulder too.

What are the signs of a frozen shoulder?

Frozen shoulder usually begins with intense pain both at rest and with motion.  Movement of the shoulder becomes very stiff.  Eventually it becomes hard to move the shoulder even with forceful stretching.  The pain can radiate from the neck to the upper arm.

How is a frozen shoulder diagnosed?

A physical exam is normally enough to diagnose a frozen shoulder but X-rays and MRI will usually be ordered to identify additional problems or injuries.

What happens if the frozen shoulder is not treated?

Medical experts refer to a frozen shoulder as a “self-limiting” condition, which means that it will eventually go away on its own. However, this can take months or years to happens.  And studies suggest that people get more of their motion back if they seek medical treatment for the shoulder.  If a frozen shoulder is not treated, then people may not be able to regain their full range of motion, and they might even notice that their affected shoulder pops up slightly higher than the other shoulder when they raise their arms over their head. Active medical care of frozen shoulder can shorten the time it takes to get back to normal and also get more of your motion back.

What treatment options are available for frozen shoulder?

There are a number of treatment options available if your symptoms are intense and don’t improve over time. Physical therapy, steroid injections, shoulder manipulation, and arthroscopic release of adhesions are all good treatment options. Platelet rich plasma injections may also benefit people with frozen shoulder.

If you think you have a frozen shoulder or have any questions about treatment, then we encourage you to contact us or book an appointment through our website. Our team of medical professionals at Bone and Joint Specialists of Winchester treat frozen shoulders and offer ways to prevent it.

Surgeons Treating Frozen Shoulder

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