Physical Therapy Can Help Frozen Shoulders!
It’s not uncommon for our clinic to see patients struggling with chronic shoulder pain. Often, we find that these patients are having to sacrifice their quality of life and have finally gotten fed up. There are many different factors that attribute to chronic shoulder pain, one of them being a common condition known as frozen shoulder.
Dealing with shoulder pain can make completing daily tasks nearly impossible without treatment. Physical therapy can help relieve (or even eliminate) your problem! If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, contact our office today.
Our physical therapists will be able to do a full assessment, figure out if the source of your pain is frozen shoulder, and help you get on the road to recovery.
What Is a 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.
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.
Most physical therapists recommend that patients with frozen shoulders rest often in between physical therapy 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.
How Is Frozen Shoulder Diagnosed?
There are four stages in the development of frozen shoulders: prefreezing, freezing, frozen, and thawing. It’s pretty common for patients to see our physical 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 the way they’d like to!
At your consultation, one of our physical therapists here at Integrated Physical Therapy 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.
He or she 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.
What Kind of Physical Therapy Treatment Will Help?
Physical therapy for frozen shoulders focuses primarily on pain relief, using modalities, manual therapy, exercises, and at-home treatments. Your physical therapist’s ultimate goal is to restore mobility and range of motion to the affected shoulder.
He or she 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 progress.
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!
Contact Integrated Physical Therapy today!
If you have been experiencing recurrent or chronic shoulder pain, it is important to consult with a physical therapist as soon as possible to find out if your problem is a frozen shoulder. Physical therapy is a safe and natural treatment option that can successfully help patients of all ages recover from their shoulder injuries.
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 Integrated Physical Therapy today to learn more about the benefits of physical therapy for shoulder pain, and begin your journey toward living a pain-free life!