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Frozen Shoulder in New Jersey

Are you experiencing a limited range of motion in your shoulder that is accompanied by pain and stiffness? You may have a condition known as “frozen shoulder.” The physical therapists at Performance Rehabilitation offer treatments for New Jersey residents who have frozen shoulder at our convenient locations in Totowa and Lafayette Township.

What is a Frozen Shoulder?

When someone is experiencing extreme shoulder pain with additional symptoms of loss of movement and stiffness, he or she may have adhesive capsulitis, commonly known as “frozen shoulder.” The condition of frozen shoulder usually begins gradually, and may worsen before resolving on its own. However, seeking treatment is preferable to reduce pain and improve symptoms to allow patients to begin living a normal life again.

The discomfort an individual feels with this medical condition occurs due to a shoulder joint becoming thick, stiff or immobile, and eventually can prevent any type of shoulder movement.

What Causes Frozen Shoulder?

The shoulder joint is encapsulated by sturdy connective tissue that includes tendons, ligaments and bones. As the connective tissue of this joint thickens, it also begins to restrict movement in the shoulder due to tightening of the bones, ligaments and tendons.

An individual who has broken a shoulder bone (humerus), has undergone shoulder surgery, or experienced a traumatic injury to the shoulder joint is more likely to develop this condition. Someone with diabetes mellitus is more susceptible to this conditions as well. However, physicians often cannot determine the reason why adhesive capsulitis occurs to many of their patients.  It occurs more frequently in women and in the non-dominant arm.

What are the Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder?

There are three stages of frozen shoulder that will frequently develop slowly, with each stage lasting several months.

  • Stage One: Freezing

During this stage of frozen shoulder, the range of joint motion becomes limited and causes intense discomfort.

  • Stage Two: Frozen

Gradually, an individual’s joint pain subsides, but the shoulder joint becomes stiffer, making it more difficult to use this body part.

  • Stage Three: Thawing

After many months, the range of motion in the shoulder joint begins to improve.

In addition, many patients experience more pain at night, leading to difficulties getting restful sleep.

How is Frozen Shoulder Diagnosed?

At Performance Rehabilitation, our therapists may ask a patient to move his or her shoulder in particular ways to check for discomfort and evaluate the joint’s active range of motion. Your active and passive ROM, as well as passive accessory motion of the joint, are assessed. Therapists will observe a “capsular pattern” that is limits of external rotation and abduction. Frozen shoulder is either primary or idiopathic or secondary (due to injury, eg. rotator cuff). Your physician will often utilize x-rays and MRI to rule out secondary causes of frozen shoulder.

Who is at Risk for Developing Frozen Shoulder?

There are certain factors that increase the chances of someone developing frozen shoulder that include:

  • Age, especially individuals age 40 and older
  • Gender, with the cases being higher amongst females, especially those over 40
  • Diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, tuberculosis, thyroid conditions, Diabetes
  • Total or reduced immobility due to surgery or injury

Treatment for Frozen Shoulder

There are several treatments available for frozen shoulder such as:

  • Numbing or anesthetic medication that is injected into the shoulder’s joint
  • Corticosteroids that are designed to reduce inflammation in body tissue
  • Passive and active range of motion exercises
  • Joint mobilization
  • Manipulation under anesthesia

After treatment and resolving the frozen shoulder condition, it rarely recurs in the same shoulder, but may later develop in the opposite shoulder, requiring a new course of treatment.

With the treatment from physical therapists at Performance Rehabilitation, located in Totowa and Lafayette Township in New Jersey, you can resolve the symptoms caused by frozen shoulder. Contact us today to schedule a personal consultation with one of our physical therapists.