Best Options for Dealing with Frozen Shoulder

Jul 1, 2021

Best Options for Dealing with Frozen ShoulderIf you have started to notice pain and stiffness in your shoulder that won’t go away, then you might be struggling with a condition called frozen shoulder. The shoulder joint actually has the greatest range of motion compared to all the other joints in the body, so when pain and stiffness occur you will notice right away. Sometimes people can experience shoulder pain from sleeping the wrong way one night or carrying something too heavy and this pain tends to go away in a few hours or days. But what about shoulder pain that seems to get worse? When you search for “orthopedic doctors near me” you want to find a doctor who can properly diagnose your shoulder pain and stiffness so you can get the treatment you need.

What Is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is the more common name for what is known in the medical field as adhesive capsulitis. The first and most obvious symptom of frozen shoulder will be pain in your shoulder joint that doesn’t go away. You may start to notice that the pain will actually prevent you from using your arm and shoulder like normal, limiting your range of motion. Your shoulder can become stiff with disuse and the combination of pain and stiffness can keep you from performing certain movements altogether. When the pain and stiffness are at their worst, you will understand where frozen shoulder gets the nickname from because it can feel like your shoulder is frozen and doesn’t want to move.

How Does Frozen Shoulder Happen?

Frozen shoulder can happen after a recent injury like a broken arm or due to a medical condition or procedure like a stroke or mastectomy. This condition most commonly develops after you experience an injury or undergo a medical procedure that limits the mobility in your arm and shoulder, even if temporarily. People with diabetes can also develop frozen shoulder because blood sugar levels can impact the connective tissue in your joint. The capsule of the shoulder joint is made of connective tissue that can start to thicken and tighten around the joint, which is what restricts movements and causes pain.

3 Treatments for Frozen Shoulder

The good news is that frozen shoulder typically resolves with treatment and does not always develop into a chronic condition. Here are four treatments for frozen shoulder that you can discuss with your orthopedic doctor.

1. At-Home Remedies

When you first start to notice shoulder pain and stiffness, you might try at-home remedies like pain medications and cold compresses. Pain medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can address both your pain in and around the joint. Applying cold compresses or icing the area can also help soothe your pain and help to reduce inflammation. You can also talk to your doctor about incorporating some appropriate stretches and exercises into your daily routine to help preserve range of motion in your shoulder.

2. Stretches and Exercises

Stretches and exercises can help to address pain, stiffness, and range of motion in your shoulder joint. Your doctor can walk you through arm and shoulder exercises that will strengthen the muscles that support your joint and help to develop flexibility as well. Certain shoulder exercises will also help to preserve and even improve your range of motion in the affected shoulder. Your orthopedic doctor may also recommend meeting with a physical therapist who can help manage your pain and recover any lost range of motion.

3. More Invasive Procedures

In more severe cases, your doctor may recommend more invasive procedures like steroid injections or even surgery. A steroid injection goes directly into the affected joint and helps to decrease your pain and inflammation so that you can continue to use the arm and preserve your mobility for longer periods of time. When other treatments have failed to provide lasting relief, your doctor may talk with you about surgical options for frozen shoulder. Surgery for frozen shoulder is viewed as a last resort for a condition that typically goes away within months to a few years.

If you are concerned about pain and stiffness in your shoulder then talk to an orthopedic doctor about getting started on treatment options that will help preserve your range of motion and provide you with some relief. AICA Jonesboro has orthopedic doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and surgeons all in one convenient location so you can receive comprehensive care for your frozen shoulder.


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