What is Frozen Shoulder And Do You Need Physiotherapy For It?

Have you felt pain and stiffness in your shoulder for a long period of time? If so, you may be suffering from a frozen shoulder. While there is no clear cause that has been proven to lead to the development of a frozen shoulder, the symptoms and treatment have been determined.

In this article, we cover what a frozen shoulder is, its symptoms and the applicable treatments.

What is a Frozen Shoulder

Your shoulder is made out of 3 bones that form a ball-and-socket joint. These include your upper arm, shoulder blade and collarbone. In addition to these 3 bones, your shoulder also has tissue surrounding the ball-and-socket joint which hold everything together. The aforementioned tissue is known as the shoulder capsule.

A frozen shoulder affects your shoulder joint as your shoulder capsule becomes thick and tight, making it hard to move. Consequently, you feel stiffness and pain when attempting to use it. 

The condition develops gradually and gets worse before getting better eventually. This is due to the bands of scar tissue that form as well as the loss of synovial fluid that keep the joint lubricated. While the condition develops, you will find the range of your shoulder’s motion becoming increasingly limited.

Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder

Most people with a frozen shoulder describe it as having pain and stiffness, making it difficult to move it. More specifically, the condition involves a dull and achy pain in your shoulder. This pain will likely spread to your shoulder muscles and upper arm. Furthermore, the pain might get compounded at night, making it difficult for you to sleep.

The 3 Stages of a Frozen Shoulder

The first step is known as the freezing stage., lasting between 6 to 9 months.

  • A pain in your shoulder develops and gets triggered each time you move it
  • The pain gets worse over time but you are still able to move your shoulder to some extent
  • Your shoulder will likely hurt more at night

The second stage is known as the frozen stage, lasting between 4 to 12 months.

  • Your pain gets slightly alleviated
  • Stiffness in your shoulder becomes worse, making it difficult for you to perform daily activities that involve your shoulder

The third stage is known as the thawing stage, lasting between 6 months to 2 years.

  • Your range of motion starts to return

Physiotherapy for your Frozen Shoulder

Getting physiotherapy clinic Singapore treatment for your frozen shoulder can help to reduce the length of each of the 3 stages. This will likely include strengthening and stretching exercising to improve your shoulder motion range. Additionally, regular checks have to be performed to ensure that your shoulder has entered the next stage and has not suffered any setbacks.