Frozen Shoulder

What IS a Frozen Shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis and how does it develop?

Adhesive capsulitis or ‘Frozen Shoulder’ is a potentially debilitating condition that affects the shoulder joint. Commonly occurring due to an immobilisation of the arm or shoulder joint, the condition can become debilitating. Inflammation can occur following an injury to the muscles, tendons or bursa around the shoulder joint, potentially causing a restriction in movement. 

There are three accepted stages of adhesive capsulitis. They are as follows: 
 

  1. The first stage, called ‘Freezing’, can take six weeks to six months to develop. There will be a pain in the area when the joint moves. These symptoms can sometimes be misdiagnosed as a rotator cuff injury. Therefore, the attending physician must carefully assess the injury to find the correct root of the issue. 

  2. The second stage, ‘Frozen’, can take four to twelve months to develop. The joint will have limited movement and will cause pain. Sufferers may have difficulty completing tasks such as combing or washing hair, fastening their bra or hanging out the washing. 

  3. ‘Frozen Shoulder’ ‘s third and final stage, ‘Thawing’, takes six to twenty-four months to complete. At this stage, the joint capsule and surrounding tissues begin to soften with treatment, allowing for increased movement. Thawing can be long and frustrating, but perseverance will see positive results.

How can Soft Tissue Therapy (remedial massage) help with this condition?

At Muscle Tone, we have a targeted approach to the specific tissues, trigger points, corrective exercises, precise taping techniques, and evidence-based stretching methods that improve the lives of those suffering from Frozen Shoulder. Some factors will impact the outcome of treatment, including which of the three stages you’re at, your level of commitment to your rehabilitation, frequency of performing the exercises and stretches correctly, and relearning how to move the shoulder joint appropriately.

 If you are experiencing any shoulder pain or restricted movement, contact us for an appointment.