While the cause of frozen shoulder is unknown, it does have an official name, adhesive capsulitis. It is defined as when the membrane or sac around the shoulder joint is inflamed and contracts. It is extremely painful and significantly restricts movement. It is more common in women, those with diabetes and those between ages 40 and 60. It can develop for no apparent reason or as a result of a fall, stroke or surgery. It has three distinct stages:
- Freezing – This will last anywhere from six weeks to nine months during which you notice a loss of motion and increased pain. Our physiotherapy and massage focus on pain relief.
- Frozen – Typically this is from four to six months and while the pain lessens, the stiffness remains. Daily activities become more difficult. Our therapists will use methods to stretch the muscles and joints to restore mobility.
- Thawing – Motion improves but it may take six months to two years to regain full strength and motion. The therapists are aggressive in their treatments to remove scar tissue and adhesions to improve mobility. With increased range of motion, you will be directed to use exercises to regain normal usage