A frozen shoulder causes symptoms easily recognizable by a doctor. The most noticeable symptom is restricted movement in the shoulder. It is possible for other conditions to have similar symptoms as a frozen shoulder, such as a rotator cuff tear, so always have your medical problem diagnosed properly by a doctor. There are different causes of frozen shoulders.
Common frozen shoulder symptoms:
- Limited and restricted movement of the shoulder
- Shoulder pain. This is usually a dull aching pain that constantly is there
- Trouble sleeping on the shoulder due to pain
- Difficulty doing simple tasks such as tying a shoe or brushing your hair
Frozen Shoulder Treatments
Most treatments for a frozen shoulder consist of physical therapy and relief for the pain. Patients will usually find relief in the following treatments, but full recovery of a frozen shoulder can take up to weeks and even months.
Physical Therapy – Most therapists will have an exercise and stretching program to follow designed to relieve the pain of the shoulder. It’s a good idea to follow these exercise several times a day, even when you are not seeing your physical therapist for a full recovery.
Cortisone Injections – Commonly used to reduce inflammation in the shoulder area. Also provides pain relief, which allows for an easier time performing the stretching and exercises.
Anti-inflammatory Medication – Not required in the healing process, but can help greatly in pain reduction.
Frozen Shoulder Surgery
Surgery for a frozen shoulder is usually not required, as most frozen shoulders can successfully be treated using the methods mentions above. However if the above methods do not work, the surgeon may choose to perform manipulation under anesthesia. This is when the surgeon moves the arm to break adhesions caused by the shoulder. No actual surgery is performed.
Does a Shoulder ever Fully Recover?
Generally a patient will have slight limitations in shoulder movement, which can occur even years after the shoulder is healed. This is only noticed under close physical evaluation and the limitations are very minimal. Most patients will recover full functions of their shoulder with stretching and exercises alone.