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Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
Frozen shoulder (also known as adhesive capsulitis) is condition that is indicated by pain, stiffness, and loss of motion in the shoulder. Common everyday activities such as reaching for a high shelf or fastening a bra become virtually impossible. The condition develops gradually, with the loss of movement increasing over the span of one to two years. It is one of the most mobile joints, having more varied range of motion that any other joint in the body. But as the shoulder is "frozen," the connective tissue holding the shoulder joints together become stiff, thickened, and inflamed, thus keeping the shoulder "frozen" in place.
There are often three stages to a frozen shoulder.
Phase 1: "Freezing" Stage
Shoulder movement becomes stiff and painful. Pain gradually increases, particularly when sleeping at night
Phase 2: "Frozen" Stage
Pain reduces on movement, but stiffness and loss of range of motion become more pronounced. Simple activities like reaching for book or fastening a bra becomes difficult.
Phase 3: "Thawing" Stage
Ability to move the shoulder improves by degrees, while the pain and stiffness reduces.
Recovery can take place anywhere between 6-18 months, particularly for full return of full range of motion and function. Pain medication can help to reduce the discomfort. Physical therapy and guided home exercises can speed up the recovery and range of motion in the shoulder joints.