What Is Frozen Shoulder?

Physio Maidenhead Frozen Shoulder

If you’ve been experiencing stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint, it may be that you’ve got a case of frozen shoulder, a condition that typically starts off quite slowly and gets progressively worse, with symptoms lasting for anything between one and three years.

The condition usually develops over time, initially characterised by pain when you move your shoulder. From there, the ability to move it will become limited. As your shoulder gets stiffer, you may experience less pain but using the joint will become harder. 

This stage usually lasts between four and 12 months. This is the ‘frozen stage’ and after this, you should start to see an improvement in mobility, known as the ‘thawing stage’. This can last between five and 24 months.

It’s thought that frozen shoulder happens when the capsule of connective tissue that encloses the joint starts to thicken and tighten up, restricting the mobility of the joint. One possible cause is having to keep the shoulder still for a long period of time, such as after an injury or surgery.

One of the best ways to treat frozen shoulder is to go and see a physiotherapist, who will help you with mobility and range of motion exercises, such as ‘rocking the baby’.

With this exercise, you support your painful arm with your stronger arm and gently rock it from side to side, as if you were rocking a baby. This can really help encourage more mobility if you’re experiencing stiffness and pain in the joint.

Or you could try a straight arm pec stretch, where you hook your fingers around a doorframe and lean forwards so you can feel a stretch across the upper arm, the front of your shoulder and into your chest.

If you’d like any further help or advice relating to your symptoms, get in touch with the team here at Clear Physio to see how we can get you moving again.

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