Physiotherapy in Chelmsford & Southend on Sea
Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis is a common cause of shoulder pain in middle aged patients. It is more prevalent in females than males. It may present after trauma or an operation to the arm and shoulder, or it can materialise for no specific reason. It is also found more commonly in patients that suffer with other medical complaints such as diabetes.
A frozen shoulder usually follows a particular pathway of severe pain developing in the shoulder, this then progresses to pain and stiffness in the shoulder, with eventually the pain easing but the stiffness remaining. In the early stages when the shoulder is painful but you have no specific restriction to movement it is often hard to diagnose the problem, this is why we would recommend seeing trained physiotherapists like ourselves. Patients often complain of difficulty sleeping and that there is very little that eases the pain.
The loss of movement and stiffness phase can be very debilitating. Patients lose the full ability to rotate the arm, causing problems with putting on a bra, difficulty washing your hair or reaching your arm into your jacket. Often there is also restriction to elevation movements causing difficulty with reaching upwards or overhead activities.
The usual investigations of x-rays and MRI scans are usually reported as normal, except maybe for some expected age-related wear and tear changes. This is often what your GP would send you for, so don’t feel despondent if the tests are normal but you are still experiencing this pain and stiffness.
Treatment should be aimed at stretching the soft tissue around the shoulder and exercises to maintain and improve range. This can be advised by your physiotherapist. Other useful treatment options can be steroid injections into the shoulder to help with the pain and hydro distension (high volume) injections to help stretch the joint to enable more effective physiotherapy treatment.
The main thing is getting the correct diagnosis so you know the options available to you. So don’t put it off as the symptoms can last for up to 2 years or longer with no intervention. Call us today for an expert assessment to confirm diagnosis and help you on your way to a reduction in pain and increase in movement.
01702 521042 (Southend) / 01245 254069 (Chelmsford)
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