What is Frozen shoulder?
Frozen shoulder is a condition characterized by shoulder pain and limited range of motion. It typically affects only one shoulder. Although the cause is often unknown, diabetes is a common risk factor.
What are the symptoms?
Frozen shoulder causes pain or tenderness with shoulder movement, stiffness of the joint, and decreased range of motion.
How is it treated?
If started early, aggressive physical therapy can help preserve movement and range of motion in the joint.
Causes of frozen shoulder
The cause of frozen shoulder is not fully understood and in some cases is unidentifiable.
However, most people with frozen shoulder have suffered from immobility as a result of a recent injury or fracture.
The condition is common in people with diabetes.
Risk factors for frozen shoulder
- Age - being over 40 years of age.
- Gender - 70% of people with frozen shoulder are women.
- Recent surgery or arm fracture - immobility of recovery may cause the shoulder capsule to stiffen.
- Diabetes - two to four times more likely to develop frozen shoulder for unknown reasons; symptoms may be more severe.
- Having suffered a stroke.
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).
- Hypothyroidism (under active thyroid).
- Cardiovascular disease (heart disease).
- Parkinson's disease.
Symptoms of frozen shoulder
There are three stages of frozen shoulder:
* Painful stage - the shoulder becomes stiff and then very painful with movement. Moveme nt becomes limited. Pain typically worsens at night.
* Frozen/adhesive stage - the shoulder becomes increasingly stiff, severely limiting range of motion. Pain may not diminish, but it does not usually worsen.
* Thawing stage - movement in the shoulder begins to improve. Pain may fade, but occasionally recur.