Pain and stiffness in your shoulder that make it difficult to perform everyday tasks may be a sign of a frozen shoulder. The condition results from tightening and thickening of the connective tissue surrounding the shoulder. The skilled orthopedic team at Sports Medicine Oregon in Tigard and Wilsonville, Oregon, diagnoses and treats patients with frozen shoulder to restore full function and reduce discomfort. Call today and speak with a friendly staff member for an appointment or use the online tool to schedule.
Frozen shoulder is a common condition that causes serious limitations in its function. It affects the connective tissue of the ball-and-socket joint, limiting your range of motion and comfort. Symptoms develop over time and most often affect women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s.
Frozen shoulder may also develop after a period of shoulder immobilization, such as post-fracture or surgery. That is why the team at Sports Medicine Oregon recommends physical therapy as a part of surgical and injury rehabilitation.
Frozen shoulder usually develops in three phases.
During phase one, you’ll notice significant locking at the joint. Much of your mobility is lost. Your pain level also increases.
You may have less pain during phase 2, but your range of motion is still severely limited, and you have significant shoulder stiffness. Brushing your hair, removing a shirt, or putting away groceries can be a challenge.
This phase is the thawing stage. You may naturally regain normal movement six months to two years after first noticing symptoms.
Most cases of frozen shoulder resolve on their own after 18-24 months. But many people need relief much sooner.
Frozen shoulder is most often resolved using physical therapy and injection therapy, including corticosteroids. The physical therapists at Sports Medicine Oregon can teach you range-of-motion exercises to help recover your mobility. You must commit to doing these exercises regularly, even when not at the office.
Corticosteroid injections reduce pain and inflammation, which can help with mobility — especially in the first phase of the condition. You may also benefit from shoulder manipulation, during which your doctor moves your shoulder joint in several directions while you’re safely and comfortably under a general anesthetic. That intervention may help loosen the tightened tissue.
In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to remove scar tissue and adhesions to free the joint capsule so you can move without restriction.
If you are experiencing symptoms that suggest frozen shoulder, call Sports Medicine Oregon or use the online tool to schedule an appointment with one of the orthopedic experts today.