A frozen shoulder is shoulder pain that prevents you from moving your arm. Often the pain and stiffness are present all the time.
The joint capsule holds your bones together and allows them to move in between them.
Frozen shoulder may develop with no known cause. It can also occur in people who:
The symptoms of frozen shoulder often follow this pattern:
It can take a few months to go through these stages of frozen shoulder. The shoulder can get very painful and stiff before it starts to loosen up. And it may take as long as 18 -24 months for complete recovery. To help speed recovery, your health care provider will:
Your health care provider may also advise you to have a steroid shot. The steroid medicine can reduce inflammation, and this can make you more comfortable. The medicine is injected into your shoulder joint.
Most people have a full recovery with full range of motion withoutsurgery.
Using moist heat on your shoulder 3 - 4 times a day may help relieve some pain and stiffness. Pain medicine you can buy without a prescription can also help.
Get help setting up your home so that you can get to everything you need without reaching above your shoulders or behind your back.
Get help with housecleaning, taking out the garbage, gardening, and other household tasks.
You will learn some simple exercises and stretches for your shoulder.\
Some of the exercises are:
Call your primary health care provider if:
Adhesive capsulits; Frozen shoulder syndrome
Krabak BJ, Banks NL. Adhesive capsulitis. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2008:chap 10.
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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