The dog days of summer are here! At this time of year, we should be in full swing and enjoying the benefits of the sun and outdoor activities. Unfortunately, many of us are sitting on the sidelines or taking medication to play through the pain. One main culprit is neck pain and what is described as a “frozen shoulder.” If you or a loved one are sitting out missing the fun due to this condition – read on!
What is a Frozen Shoulder?
A Frozen Shoulder or, Adhesive capsulitis, is a condition in which the shoulder cannot be moved normally due to pain and inflammation in the joint capsule of the shoulder. Limited range of motion not only occurs when the individual tries to move the shoulder but even if shoulder movement is forced. The condition may arise due to no known cause other than lack of use of the shoulder joint.
What Causes A Frozen Shoulder?
A Frozen Shoulder is caused by inflammation, scarring, or thickening that occurs within the capsule of the shoulder joint. The capsule of ligaments in the shoulder joint allows the bones in the shoulder to freely move within the joint. If this capsule of ligaments becomes inflamed, the bones in the shoulder may have difficulty moving or may not be able to move at all.
Often there is no known cause for the inflammation, and the inflammation is attributed to the lack of use of the shoulder joint. In other cases, conditions such as: diabetes, shoulder trauma or injury, shoulder surgery, tendonitis, bursitis, cervical disc disease, chronic inflammatory arthritis, hyperthyroidism can exacerbate and create this condition.
The primary symptoms of a frozen shoulder are a pain, stiffness, and limited shoulder mobility. In most cases, the condition begins with pain that prevents you from using your shoulder and moving your arm in a normal fashion. The pain may have some underlying cause or no cause at all. The main difference between a frozen shoulder and other conditions that may cause pain, stiffness, and limited mobility is that with frozen shoulder, the doctor cannot make the shoulder joint move even by manually moving the joint.
How is It Diagnosed?
The first step in diagnosing a frozen shoulder will include taking a complete medical history and set of physical examinations. Questions will be asked related to when the symptoms began, what activities caused the symptoms, and how limited is the movement of the shoulder. The shoulder will be examined, and range of motion tests will be performed. Finally, X-rays or an MRI may be ordered to determine if there is an obvious cause of the immobility, but in most cases of frozen shoulder, there are no specific findings, although shrinkage of the shoulder capsule or scar tissue may be apparent.
We Can Help!
Our Expert Team has been assembled to help our community through a variety of treatment techniques achieve the health results they desire. Let our wonderful team help you achieve the quality of life you desire – happy and best of all, pain-free.
For Your Health,
Dr. Leo McCormick, Dr. Darryl Hajduczek, and Dr. Leslie Freeman