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Clinical Presentation of a Frozen Shoulder & Treatment

– Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis) is a very painful condition that can drag out for many months/years causing limitation in motion and overall shoulder function. It is caused by thickening and inflammation of the shoulder capsule. Movement in all directions of the shoulder becomes very limited as simple activities such as bathing, driving, and putting on clothes can be troublesome.

– The process usually begins with an injury to the shoulder that causes inflammation of the soft tissue, such as bursitis or tendonitis of the rotator cuffs. Inflammation causes pain that is worse with movement and limits the shoulders range of motion. With thickening of the connective tissue surrounding the joint capsule, it loses its ability to tolerate the “normal” sensation of a stretch. Trying to avoid the pain caused by moving the shoulder leads to further contraction of the joint capsule. The joint has less work space to move in, further causing loss of lubrication of the joint (synovial fluid).

– Early treatment is critical and can prevent functional limitations and even surgery. A couple of visual signs to a frozen shoulder are demonstrated below.

Compensation to Shoulder Abduction. Fully functional range of motion is 180 degrees.

Compensation to Shoulder Flexion. Fully Functional Range of Motion is 180 degrees

Compensatory Shoulder Internal Rotation. Fully Functional Range of Motion is 70-80 degrees.

If you are dealing with these movement restrictions and are tired of living an unfulfilled life, call our office and speak with our doctor today! 929-488-5969