Do you feel a persistent pain or stiffness in your shoulder? This could be due to a frozen shoulder. The shoulder is made up of three bones: the upper arm (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle). The humerus fits into a socket and is surrounded by synovial fluid that allows the joint to move without friction. Sometimes, a scar tissue will begin to form in the shoulders, causing the capsule to become too thick and tight. There is less lubrication which makes it hard for the shoulders to move.
Frozen shoulders frequently happen to people who have recently experienced a shoulder injury or fracture. Other risk factors include being more than 40 years old, being a woman, and having diabetes.
There are 3 stages to a frozen shoulder. The freezing stage is where the pain gradually increases, and most sufferers will have a hard time sleeping at night because of the pain. The next stage is the frozen stage where the pain will no longer worsen but the shoulders will remain stiff. The thawing stage is where the pain will slowly fade away and the shoulder will return to normal.
Once you have been diagnosed by a San Diego orthopedic doctor, you will be given a treatment program based on the stage of your condition and the severity of your pain. It is worth noting that with a frozen shoulder, recovery is slow and may take some time. The initial stage is always the worst in terms of pain, so treatment is mainly focused on relieving it.
The orthopedic doctor may prescribe paracetamol and even give corticosteroid injections if the pain becomes too much to bear. Physical therapy such as stretching and gentle exercises can also be implemented to keep the shoulder mobile and improve the shoulder’s condition.