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Frozen Shoulder Symptoms

Adhesive Capsulitis, also known as Frozen Shoulder, is stiffness of the shoulder caused by inflammation.

Experts aren’t sure why inflammation occurs, but it is more common in diabetics or after periods of inactivity, like injury or surgery.

Adhesions and scar tissue form between the connective tissue of the shoulder, resulting in immobility.

The most effective means of controlling Frozen Shoulder is through stretching and exercise.

Most people who experience shoulder pain stop using the joint, which results in further immobility and further exacerbates the problem.

95% of all cases of Frozen Shoulder are reversible, with stretching exercises being the treatment of choice.

Gentle, small movements, mild stretching, and moderate yoga poses are the best treatment methods for Frozen Shoulder.

Starting Exercise

It’s recommended that you begin range of motion exercises early for more effective treatment. These exercises maintain joint mobility and muscle flexibility. If you feel any sharp pain, stop the exercises immediately.

Pendulum exercises gently stretch the shoulder joint and prevent Frozen Shoulder.

Pendulum exercises can begin immediately after injury. While standing, lower your arm vertically between your legs, like a pendulum. Let the arm swing gently from side to side, then move it in small circles.

The first few weeks of stretching should be done without added weight, but as mobility improves, 1-2 pounds can be added to build strength.

After the pendulum exercises, passive stretching should be done. The goal of stretching is to stretch the shoulder to the point of tension, not the point of pain.

Stretch the arm out in front of you. Using your good arm, lift the sore arm slightly upwards; try to push the affected arm farther each day.

Strength Exercises

Muscle toning and strength exercises also play a role in recovering from Frozen Shoulder. Outward and Inward rotation exercises will help restore mobility and build strength; small arm circles and shoulder rolls are examples of rotation exercises.

Performing the exercises while lying on the floor puts less tension on the shoulder and can help alleviate some of the pain.

Lie on your good side, and raise the affected arm towards the ceiling.

Slowly rotate the arm in one direction, and then rotate is back in the other direction.

Gently work up to standing exercises.

Patients with Frozen Shoulder generally have pain and stiffness in other areas of the body as well, so stretching and exercising other muscles can also help alleviate pain.

Some cases of Frozen Shoulder may even be caused by tightness of other muscles, such as the arms and neck.

Leg lifts and mild yoga poses can help relieve tension in other areas of the body, which can in turn affect your shoulder. Exercises should encompass the whole body, rather than just one problem area.

If exercising causes soreness, it might be necessary to follow-up each session with a deep tissue massage or physical therapy session to loosen and stretch out the adhesions and scar tissue.

Frozen Shoulder Surgery

In extreme cases of Frozen Shoulder, shoulder surgery might be necessary. Always ask the advice of your doctor before beginning any exercise regime. Recommendations vary from person to person, so it’s important to perform exercise based on your individual situation.

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