Of the hundreds of joints in your body, your shoulders are two of the most flexible. Ball-and-socket shoulder joints have the widest range of motion, which helps you stretch above your head, extend your arms, and even reach behind you.
When the health of your shoulders is compromised, it can impact your quality of life very quickly. Adhesive capsulitis, commonly known as frozen shoulder, causes pain and stiffness in your shoulder joint and may severely affect your mobility.
The exact cause of frozen shoulder is unknown. The condition develops when your shoulder capsule, which is the connective tissue around your shoulder, thickens and hardens. Symptoms often get worse over a period of time, and then begin improving until the condition goes away.
Frozen shoulder can last between one and three years. If you’re experiencing joint pain in your shoulder, make an appointment with our orthopedic specialists at Manhattan Orthopedics. Our team of experts is here to help you find frozen shoulder relief that works. Call our office that’s nearest you -- in Astoria or Manhattan, New York -- or book an appointment online to get started.
The signs and stages of frozen shoulder
The leading symptoms of frozen shoulder are restricted mobility and pain. As the shoulder capsule thickens, scar tissue forms around the joint and it produces less lubricating liquid called synovial fluid. These factors make the joint even more painful and stiff.
Frozen shoulder generally follows three distinct stages.
In stage one, your shoulder joint begins to freeze. The joint is painful anytime you move it, your mobility is restricted, and pain generally continues to get worse. This stage typically lasts 6-9 months.
Some people find that pain lessens during stage two, but mobility is generally worse. You might find that it becomes difficult to perform daily tasks because of limited range of motion in your shoulders. Stage two can last 4-12 months on average.
Your frozen shoulder begins improving in stage three. Pain decreases and your range of motion continues to improve over time. Complete recovery can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.
Finding relief from frozen shoulder
Frozen shoulder is a painful condition that can significantly limit your ability to perform everyday tasks. Though it often resolves on its own in 1-3 years, symptoms can make it difficult to simply wait it out.
At Manhattan Orthopedics, we focus our remedies for frozen shoulder on maintaining and improving your range of motion, as well as minimizing your pain. Our doctors adjust your treatment plan to match your needs and the duration of each stage of frozen shoulder.
Many patients find that physical therapy throughout every stage of frozen shoulder helps restore motion to make daily tasks easier. Cortisone or platelet-rich plasma injections can improve symptoms as well.
If nonsurgical treatments don’t provide adequate relief, our team might recommend arthroscopy. This minimally invasive surgery works to cut and release tight tissue to restore your shoulder’s function.
Frozen shoulder can be a frustrating and painful condition, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. Find expert care in the hands of our specialists at Manhattan Orthopedics. Contact us by phone or use the online tool to schedule an appointment.