Adhesive Capsulitis or “Frozen Shoulder” does not seem to result from an injury. While some people relate the onset of their pain to an injury or illness, many more say the problem began “out of the blue”, without any cause.
Pain may start suddenly or begin slowly and unfortunately the pain and stiffness will increase. Often patients report difficulty with sleeping, as the shoulder is particularly painful at night. Reaching to get items off shelves, reaching behind the back to tuck in a shirt or blouse becomes difficult or impossible. Jerky movements of the shoulder often cause very sharp pain.
In frozen shoulder the capsule that surrounds the shoulder joint becomes contracted and bands of scar tissue called adhesions form. This contraction of the capsule and the formation of the adhesions cause the shoulder to become stiff and painful.
Like any condition it has a beginning, middle and an end. In the beginning the shoulder gradually becomes more stiff and painful. During the middle stage the pain decreases but the stiffness remains, and lastly the condition ends as the stiffness resolves. The bad news is that this process of healing and recovery can take 1-2 years. The good news, most individuals regain excellent use of their shoulder with no or minimal discomfort.
Regrettably we have no proven method to speed up the natural healing process, the shoulder will recover in time. Anti- inflammatories and or a cortisone injection may help, physiotherapy plays a major role, coupled with a specific exercise program including gentle mobility exercises as well as muscle strengthening exercises, swimming regularly, particularly breastroke can be helpful. Don’t be afraid to use your shoulder for any and all activities as it is important to try and maintain the movement you have. It is however important to try and avoid working with too much pain.
I know that it is a frustrating condition. Hopefully now that you know why your shoulder is painful and understand what will happen and what you can do about it, you will feel more at ease.
Click on the following link http://www.physio4all.com.au/blog/physio4all-video-blog/frozen-shoulder-exercise/ to see a video outlining an exercise that can be used for Adhesive Capsulitis or ‘Frozen Shoulder’.