Frozen shoulder is a painful condition resulting from chronic stiffness of the shoulder joint and is most common between the ages of 40 and 60. Frozen shoulder often occurs when the shoulder has been immobile for a period of time and when a minor shoulder injury heals with scar tissue that affects joint movement. Even though the causes are not fully understood, frozen shoulder appears to be more common in patients with diabetes, thyroid disease, heart disease or Parkinson's disease.
Frozen Shoulder Symptoms
There are three phases:
- A gradual onset of aching in the shoulder, where the joint tightens up
- Lying on the affected side is more painful at night.
- Movement in the shoulder is reduced and stiffens up.
- Everyday activities become more difficult.
- Shoulder muscles may begin to waste away through lack of use.
- Mobility gradually increases.
- Pain gradually decreases.
Frozen Shoulder Treatments
Speak to Dr James Mclean as soon as possible as early treatment can help prevent severe stiffness setting in.
It is also advised to keep the shoulder moving, even if it's just small pendulum movements.
Treatment actions may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and swelling
- Stretching exercises
- Electrical stimulation of muscles and nerves
- Cortisone injections
- Surgery (only if all other treatment fails) – arthroscopic capsular release may be performed using keyhole surgery.
- It is advised that an aggressive rehabilitation program is followed after surgery.
Most cases will resolve on their own or with physiotherapy over 1-3 years.
How Dr James McLean can help
Dr James McLean provides consultation and various treatments for a wide variety of shoulder conditions in Adelaide.
With his extensive experience in treating upper limb conditions, he works with his patients to create tailored treatment plans which yield the best possible outcomes for their injuries.
Click here for more information on other conditions involving the shoulder, hand, wrist, and elbow which Dr James McLean has a special interest in treating.