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Adhesive Capsulitis

Are you suffering from persistent joint pain, stiffness and motion loss in the shoulder? If so, you may have an adhesive capsulitis, also known as a “frozen shoulder“. It is a musculoskeletal condition that affects people between 40-60 years old and occurs more commonly in females than males. Thickening of the synovial capsule, adhesions within the subacromial or subdeltoid bursa, adhesions to the biceps tendon can occur from unknown causes. However, secondary adhesive capsulitis often develops during prolonged immobilization after shoulder injury or recovery from procedure that prevents you from moving your arm, such as rotator cuff surgery, stroke or mastectomy. Risk of developing frozen shoulder increases if you have diabetes, hyper- or hypothyroidism, Parkinson’s disease or if you are a postmenopausal female.

There are various physical therapy interventions that can help you manage this condition non-operatively. The crucial strategy is to encourage pain-free motion and decrease muscle guarding at the glenohumeral joint, cervical and scapulothoracic region. Passive ROM and gentle stretches, active, and active-assisted exercises will stimulate the removal of metabolic waste, increase blood flow to the affected area, and decrease edema. A frozen shoulder patient can benefit from specific joint mobilization techniques, scapula stabilization exercises and pain modulating modalities.

If you developed idiopathic frozen shoulder, are recovering from trauma or immobilization, come to see us at First Choice Physical Therapy. Let us alleviate your pain, restore motion, and help you to return to normalized function.

Maggie Garbiec, PTA