If you have been experiencing pain and stiffness in your shoulder joint for an extended period of time, you may be suffering from frozen shoulder syndrome. Frozen shoulder is a condition that results in significant limitations of movement in the shoulder joint, and can be quite debilitating. In this article, we will discuss what frozen shoulder is, what the symptoms are, what causes it, how it’s treated, and what the possible outcomes of treatment are.
Also known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder refers to a painful condition where shoulder movement becomes increasingly limited over time, because the shoulder joint’s surrounding connective tissues are thickening and stiffening. This then leads to further “freezing”, because you’re reluctant to move your shoulder due to the pain.
The condition typically develops over a period of several months, and can take 1-3 years for the affected area to gradually loosen and return to normal. Symptoms can include pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion in the affected shoulder.
Frozen shoulder most often affects people between the ages of 40 and 60 years old, and women are more likely to develop the condition than men.
Despite the fact that shoulder pain is the third most common musculoskeletal complaint, the exact cause of frozen shoulder is unknown. However, it’s thought to be related to an injury or overuse of the shoulder joint. Other risk factors for developing frozen shoulder include diabetes, thyroid problems, and cardiovascular disease.
And finally, it’s believed that poor ergonomics can be a contributing factor – something which has increased since the pandemic forced many people to create makeshift home offices with poorly setup desks and inadequate seating, for example.
Frozen shoulder is typically treated with a combination of physical therapy, exercise, and pain medication. In some rare cases, surgery may be necessary to release the connective tissue around the shoulder joint.
At Essendon Natural Health, we recommended to see one of our highly trained Osteopaths or Myotherapists at our clinic. If you have already tried this, then consider acupuncture as an additional option – all of these options can be suitable for the management of musculoskeletal conditions like frozen shoulder.
The good news is that the prognosis for frozen shoulder is generally good, and most people will recover full range of motion in the affected shoulder within 12 to 18 months.
First, it is important to stay as active as possible and maintain a regular stretching and exercise routine. Physical therapy is the best way to regain your full range of motion in the affected shoulder, and our practitioners can also provide expert advice and recommendations regarding the most effective at-home stretches and exercises to complement your treatment.
At Essendon Natural Health, we’ll begin with an in-depth consultation to discuss previous injuries or other factors that might have contributed (or continue to contribute) to your shoulder pain. This, along with an examination of the affected area, allows us to deliver tailored treatment that targets your specific condition. Osteopathy and myotherapy are our recommended treatment techniques for this condition, although acupuncture can help relieve stiffness and tension as well.
B.C.M (Hons), C.Clin.Prac (China), C.Toyohari. Registered Acupuncturist and Herbalist. Integrative Natural Medicine Practitioner.
Robert is a passionate and warm practitioner who has an extensive knowledge of integrative and functional natural medicine. He is down to earth and has an interest in organic foods, gardening and sustainable living. With over a decade of experience, he is renowned for being very thorough by both fellow practitioners and patients alike.