What Is Frozen Shoulder?
Have you felt lately that your shoulder’s range of motion is limited? Is it painful to do things like raise your arms to put on a shirt or reach something off a high shelf? If so, there is a chance you may be dealing with a condition referred to as “frozen shoulder.”
Frozen shoulder, or “adhesive capsulitis” is a condition caused by inactivity that occurs after injury or alongside another shoulder problem.
When scar tissue forms after a period of physical inactivity, the shoulder can become stiff or inflamed. Most people struggling with frozen shoulders complain of pain, discomfort when moving or using the affected joint, or even a total loss of movement in that shoulder.
Our innovative care strategies at Hand In Hand Rehabilitation will help you find quick relief. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your shoulder, call our clinic today to learn about how our experienced occupational therapists can help you to find the relief you deserve.
Causes of frozen shoulder
Exactly what causes frozen shoulder remains somewhat of a mystery condition to many doctors and physical therapists, but a few possible causes are as follows:
- Results from a surgery or injury.
- Underlying conditions such as bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis, a rotator cuff tear, or any other condition causing a person to cease shoulder movement.
- Immobilization of the arm, such as in a sling, after surgery or fracture.
Overall, having a limited range of motion can cause you to develop a frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulders can also be the result of remaining bedridden, unable to get up and move around for a long time.
How can I know if I have a frozen shoulder?
There are four stages in the development of frozen shoulders: pre-freezing, freezing, frozen, and thawing. It’s pretty common for patients to see our occupational therapists in the freezing stage after they’ve already been experiencing pain for a little over half a year or 9 months! At this point, they’re already in a lot of pain and pretty used to not being able to move their shoulder as they normally would.
At your consultation, one of our occupational therapists here will assess your condition, pinpoint the exact source of your pain, take a look at your medical history, and evaluate your strength and mobility levels.
They will also consider any other conditions that could be contributing to your pain, such as diabetes, an autoimmune disorder, or a thyroid disorder.
From there a comprehensive treatment plan will be created just for you. It will most likely consist of targeted stretches, exercises, and best practices for you to regain strength and decrease stiffness and pain.
How can an OT help relieve frozen shoulder pain?
At the moment there isn’t very much we can do to prevent the development of frozen shoulder, however, the sooner you contact our office for an evaluation, the quicker we can address your pain symptoms and create your treatment plan!
Occupational therapy for frozen shoulders focuses primarily on pain relief, using modalities, manual therapy, exercises, and at-home treatments. Your therapist’s ultimate goal is to restore mobility and range of motion to the affected shoulder and to help you be able to do the things you normally do on a daily basis without pain.
Your OT will teach you how to relieve pain with stretching techniques and strengthening exercises, most of which you’ll be able to complete at home to speed up the recovery process.
Most occupational therapists recommend that patients with frozen shoulders rest often in between appointments to avoid developing scar tissue in the shoulder. On the chance that scar tissue does develop, the muscles surrounding the shoulder may eventually freeze up as well.
Are you searching for pain relief?
If you have been experiencing recurrent or chronic shoulder pain, it is important to consult with an OT or hand therapist at our clinic as soon as possible to find out if your problem is a frozen shoulder.
Occupational therapy is a safe and natural treatment option that can successfully help patients of all ages recover from their shoulder injuries and regain their abilities to move safely and independently.
There’s no reason you need to risk the harmful effects of over-the-counter medication or spend a ton of money on an expensive surgery to gain relief from shoulder pain. Call us today or visit us in either our Manhattan or Long Island location to learn more about the benefits of occupational and hand therapy for frozen shoulder pain, and begin your journey toward living a pain-free life!