The best treatment for frozen shoulder

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How often do you hear somebody complain about a stiff shoulder?


Probably quite often. Frozen shoulder is a very common complaint. Many people suffer from it without actually realising what’s causing it. They might resort to using ice packs and heat pads for relief. But the problem persists.

Here at Cheshire Natural Health we have some good news for you. You don’t have to suffer with discomfort and pain in your shoulder or loss of mobility.

With a course of sessions with our physiotherapist you can look forward to a reduction in pain and, in time, improved mobility.


So, what is frozen shoulder and what causes it?

In essence it’s severe pain and stiffness in the shoulder. The reasons for frozen shoulder are not fully understood. But it can occur when the flexible tissue that surrounds the shoulder joint – or capsule – becomes inflamed and thickened. This causes severe pain in the shoulder leading to a limitation in how you move your shoulder and eventually to stiffness.

If you want to get technical, the proper medical term for frozen shoulder is ‘adhesive capsulitis’.


The tell-tale signs… symptoms to look out for

There are three distinct stages to frozen shoulder and early diagnosis and treatment is highly recommended.

The first phase is known as the ‘freezing’ stage. This is when the onset of pain is slow but can lead to a gradual loss in the movement of the shoulder. For some, this stage may not actually be recognised by the sufferer until they notice how they’re struggling to do a simple task such as brushing their hair, fastening a bra, reaching behind for a seatbelt or throwing a ball. In time, however, the pain becomes so severe it can disturb their sleep. This can occur over the course of a couple of months.

Phase two is known as the ‘frozen’ stage because the movement of the shoulder continues to become more restricted with resulting increased pain. The bad news is that the ‘frozen’ phase can last up to a year.

The last phase, the ‘thawing’ stage, lasts from between five months and two years and sees the sufferer experience a slow improvement in the mobility of their shoulder.


Treatment for painful frozen shoulder

Going for physiotherapy treatment is the best way to address frozen shoulder and should be your first option.

Here at Cheshire Natural Health, your physiotherapist will aim to gently stretch the affected shoulder joint capsule. This will be carefully done through gentle passive mobilisations at different points in the shoulder’s range of movement. The patient must also continue with regular stretching in a bid to increase this range of movement.

Other treatment can include tissue warm-ups, stretching regimes using overhead pulleys, pendulum exercises and other simple techniques.

In all instances, this stretching exercise must be pain-free.

But it is very important that the patient continues to use the arm with the affected shoulder. If not, it can lead to muscle-wasting in the hand and the forearm.


Don’t suffer in silence, come and see us

If you are struggling with a frozen shoulder, get in touch to see how we at Cheshire Natural Health can help. Call us on 01925 730123 to book a physiotherapy session. Alternatively, you can call into the clinic at Beehive House, Tarporley Road, Stretton, Warrington, Cheshire WA4 4ND.

You can also contact us through our email contact form