Frozen shoulder aka adhesive capsulitius is a painful shoulder and arm condition that tends to affect women between the ages of 40-70. It is called this not because it makes you feel cold, but frozen and stiff in the sense of a frozen statue! It can resolve on its own in two years, but several studies have shown it can affect people for 5- 10 years. It generally happens in 3 stages. The first is the acute or “freezing” the shoulder is very painful and you are unable to move it much, if at all. The second is the “frozen” stage- lasting roughly 4-12 months-where the arm increases in motion, there is less pain, but there are adhesions within the joint capsule itself. The most notable area of adhesion is the biceps tendon with the subscapularis (the back of your rotator cuff) tendon. This results in the rotator cuff muscles adhering to the glenoid rim- the part of the shoulder blade that is attaches to the humerus ( arm bone) . Causing the joint to thicken and tighten the third is the “thawing phase” or chronic stage, where motion and function returns, however full motion entirely may not be regained. There is no longer pain at nighttimes.
What causes Frozen Shoulder?? In some cases, maintaining a hyperkyphotic posture (the position of sitting at a computer all day, taking care of babies or aging parents) can cause an alteration of the scapuohumeral (the shoulder blade and your arm) alignment. Systemic medical conditions seem to predispose people to it- such as diabetes, thyroid conditions, and Parkinsons
It is important to seek treatment in the acute phase as soon as possible as this corresponds heavily to the recovery time required. I have treated several clients in the past with this condition successfully, by giving clients a compressive treatment plan.
Book your appointment today to see how I can help you!
Jennifer J. Lamore, BAA, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist Toronto & Mississauga, Ontario