What is Frozen Shoulder?

Currently, about one in every 20 Americans suffer from frozen shoulder although the causes are not totally understood. You may now be experiencing it, or may be one of your loved ones. That is why it's important to get informed and be ready to deal with this problem. Take your time to read the following article to learn all you need to know about frozen shoulder.

Brief Explanation of Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder is the common term for a disorder called adhesise capsulitis. This disease is characterized by motionless shoulders sometimes accompanied by pain or stiffness. Frozen shoulder is not characterized by sharp, searing pains. In fact, the pain associated with this order is usually more of a dull ache. Patients often report that attempting to move the arm only intensifies the pain. Patients suffering from frozen shoulder can not move the shoulder normally.
The good news is that frozen shoulder is a condition that is fairly easy to diagnose. Since these symptoms could also signify the presence of a rotator cuff injury, you should consult your doctor. He will give you an exam and possibly order an X-ray or MRI to give you proper diagnosis.

Causes of Frozen Shoulder
Frozen Shoulder occurs when the capsule encompassing the shoulder joint is contracted and thickened. Although doctors can't really determine a clear-cut cause for this disorder, it has been noted that there are other medical problems linked to it. Diabetics are most at risk for frozen shoulder. Also, people with such conditions as cardiac disease, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, or Parkinson's are prone to suffer from frozen shoulder. If you think you may have the early stages of this disorder, consulting a doctor for instruction on how to keep the shoulder mobile after injury may help you avoid this uncomfortable problem.

Phases of Frozen Shoulder
Doctors have found that this disorder actually has three phases.

  • The first phase has been dubbed "freezing". This marks the beginning of the shoulder pain. Lasting anywhere from six weeks to nine months, this is the beginning of an uncomfortable problem.

  • Phase two of frozen shoulder is the "frozen" stage. Although a patient may be reporting a bit of decline in shoulder pain levels, the stiffness persists and continues anywhere from four to nine months.
  • The last and final phase of frozen shoulder is the "thawing" stage. This is a slow process, generally ranging between 5 months and a more than two years, this is where motion in the shoulder slowly begins to return to normal.

Coping with Frozen Shoulder

Although frozen shoulder is an uncomfortable and sometimes frustrating disorder that can linger for two or three years, the condition usually rectifies itself. You will get better on your own, eventually. The main issue is to remain comfortable until that time arrives. Your doctor may recommend an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen. In more extreme cases, you may want to enroll in some sort of physical therapy to help restore motion to your shoulder.

If you are experiencing any type of back, neck, or shoulder pain, be sure that you are sleeping on the proper bedding. Choose a mattress that is comfortable and a pillow that provides the right support for proper spine alignment. Consult with your doctor about the pain you are having since it could be the indication of something more serious than frozen shoulder.


Written by Dr. Joseph J. Berke, M.D., Ph.D.
Discover how sleeping on The Sleep Better Pillow can change your life.
Dr. Joseph J. Berke is an author and inventor dedicated to helping people get a better nights rest

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