Suffering from Shoulder Pain and Stiffness? It Might be Frozen Shoulder or Adhesive Capsulitis. Learn more from Louisville Orthopedic Surgeon

Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is a condition where the capsule of the shoulder gets very stiff.  People experiencing frozen shoulder suffer from shoulder inflammation and increased restriction in the shoulder.

This stiffness in the shoulder can be debilitating and limiting to activities of daily living. Sometimes the cause of frozen shoulder is unknown and other times it follows a specific event or condition.  Symptoms of frozen shoulder often include considerable pain in and around your shoulder joint area and a stiff feeling.  The shoulder pain often begins slowly and gets increasingly worse over time.

The pain from frozen shoulder sometimes affects the upper arm region and is typically concentrated on the outside of the shoulder.  According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), frozen shoulder affects around 2% of the population and it is more common among those between 40 and 60 years of age.

In addition, women are more likely to experience frozen shoulder than men.  People are at a heightened risk for experiencing frozen shoulder when trying to recover from certain health problems including Parkinson’s and strokes or following surgery like a mastectomy.

Frozen shoulder is more prevalent among people with diabetes yet researchers do not understand why this is the case.

There are a variety of treatment options available to those grappling with frozen shoulder. These include exercises for stretches sometimes provided by a trained physical therapist.  Sometimes steroid injections like cortisone injections are recommended in order to reduce inflammation in the shoulder.  Swelling and pain may also be managed with ibuprofen or aspirin.

In more persistent and severe cases, surgery for frozen shoulder is sometimes recommended so that the joint capsule is manipulated to improve mobility in this area. Shoulder arthroscopy is often performed if surgery is indicated for frozen shoulder. If you are suffering from the symptoms of adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder, contact a board certified orthopaedic surgeon like Dr. Stacie Grossfeld for an evaluation.


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