When it comes to shoulder mobility, the old adage is true: If you don’t use it, you lose it. Keeping your shoulder immobilized for an extended period of time increases your risk of developing frozen shoulder. At Premier Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, Dr. Thomas Baylis and his team of sports medicine specialists work to prevent frozen shoulder and reduce its symptoms when they occur. If you live in or near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and have shoulder pain that’s impacting your range of motion, contact Dr. Baylis. Call today to schedule your appointment or book it online.
Frozen shoulder is a condition that impacts your shoulder joint, making it painful to move. Made up of bones, ligaments, and tendons, your shoulder joint is encased in a capsule of connective tissues. When you have frozen shoulder, this capsule thickens, resulting in a tightening of the capsule and a restriction of joint movement.
Adhesions and scar tissue form, binding tendons and ligaments. This reduces synovial fluid -- which normally keeps the shoulder joint lubricated -- and further increases pain and decreases mobility.
Although the root cause of frozen shoulder is unknown, it’s more likely to occur after an extended period of immobilization of the shoulder joint and in people with diabetes.
Frozen shoulder typically happens in three stages. The first is called the freezing stage and typically occurs after a period of shoulder joint immobilization. In many cases, the immobilization is because of pain from a shoulder joint injury like a rotator cuff tear.
During this freezing stage, the shoulder hurts when you move it and your range of motion is limited. It may hurt at night and make sleeping difficult. It typically lasts six to nine months.
Next is the frozen stage. Here your pain isn’t as bad, but your shoulder joint is extremely stiff and interferes with your daily activities. This stage lasts up to 12 months.
Lastly, the thawing stage occurs when shoulder stiffness begins to wane and shoulder joint mobility improves. This can take from six months to two years for a full recovery.
In most cases, Dr. Baylis and his team recommend letting frozen shoulder run its course while trying to reduce symptoms, primarily pain and joint mobility. He may recommend:
In rare cases, arthroscopic surgery may be recommended. Since the condition typically improves on its own, less invasive measures are often sufficient.
If you have shoulder pain, Dr. Baylis recommends engaging in therapeutic movements, even when they cause discomfort. Keeping the shoulder mobile is the easiest and most effective way to prevent frozen shoulder from developing.
When shoulder pain keeps you from moving the joint, seek help with Premier Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. With Dr. Baylis’ help, you can prevent frozen shoulder or reduce your frozen shoulder symptoms. Call the office today to schedule your appointment or book online now.