Adhesive capsulitis, better known as frozen shoulder, is a condition affecting the shoulder muscles. This happens when the connective tissue that wrap around the ligaments, tendons and bones of the shoulder joint thickens. Thus, causing stiffness and soreness that makes it difficult and painful to move the affected shoulder.
Yes, your frozen shoulder can get better with the right assessment and specific exercises tailored to your injury. However, depending on the severity, recovery may take a couple of months to more than a year.
The signs that you could have a frozen shoulder start with a dull or achy pain in one of your shoulders. They are most felt in the shoulder muscles located at the top of the arm. Depending on the severity of the injury, the pain can get worse with time.
To properly assess frozen shoulder, a physiotherapist will perform a physical exam. They will ask you to move your shoulder in certain directions, assessing how far you can move it and the degree of pain you feel. While a physical exam is often enough to assess this condition, your doctor may also request for an X-ray or MRI to rule out other structural issues.
There are a number of exercises you can perform in order to help your frozen shoulder get better, faster:
Treatment and Recovery
If the pain from your frozen shoulder proves almost unbearable, there are a number of over-the-counter drugs to help you relieve the symptoms. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Aspirin and Ibuprofen, can help reduce swelling and relieve pain temporarily.
A steroid injection or cortisone may help reduce pain immediately and return the shoulder’s range of motion restored to at least 80%. You can only get this shot with a doctor’s prescription. In adults with rotator cuff disorders, corticosteriod injection provided short-term pain relief. Meanwhile, treatment plan for shoulder pain that included both steroid injection and physiotherapy significantly reduced pain after 6 weeks.
In the most severe cases, surgical intervention may be needed to relieve the tightness of the shoulder joint capsule. Two of the common procedures are shoulder arthroscopy and manipulation under anesthesia.
Whether or not you needed surgery, going to a physiotherapist can help your frozen shoulder get better. The physiotherapist will prescribe specific exercises and motions customized to your injury.
Depending on the damage, a frozen shoulder requires several months for you to be completely pain-free and regain your full range of motion.
For more information on how your frozen shoulder can get better, contact us today and schedule a no-obligation appointment with one of our St Albert physiotherapists.