Stiffness and pain in your shoulder that started while recovering from shoulder surgery or a long period of inactivity? You may have a frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis. Frozen shoulder is a common and treatable condition that we see regularly here at Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics. If you’re looking for frozen shoulder treatment in Knoxville, our team of board-certified orthopedic specialists and physical therapists are here to help you get moving again.
Frozen shoulder is caused when the bones, ligaments, and tendons in the shoulder joint become squeezed too tightly by the capsule of connective tissue that surrounds them. This happens when the capsule tissue thickens and tightens, usually after a long period of inactivity.
Many times, a frozen shoulder starts when the shoulder joint is immobilized for a long time, such as when a person is recovering from shoulder surgery or a mastectomy. Without regular movement to keep the shoulder joint flexible, the connective tissue in the shoulder becomes inflexible, restricting movement and causing pain.
Frozen shoulder symptoms tend to come on slowly and increase over time. Frozen shoulder is barely noticeable at first, with pain and decreased lack of motion slowly increasing until the shoulder is frozen in place. This process generally happens over several months.
The first sign of a frozen shoulder may be having trouble with daily activities because your shoulder won’t allow your arm to move as it should. Eventually, the pain and stiffness progress into not being able to sleep at night because of the pain and not being able to move your shoulder into a comfortable position. Night pain is a frequent complaint of people with a frozen shoulder.
People who have to keep their shoulder immobilized for a long period, such as while recovering from shoulder surgery, are most likely to experience frozen shoulder. But sometimes, it can come on out of the blue with no apparent cause.
Some risk factors for frozen shoulder include:
At Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics, we always begin frozen shoulder treatment with physical therapy, which is aimed at restoring motion in the shoulder. At-home and in-office physical therapy may also be combined with steroid injections as well as anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and increase mobility in the joint.
If physical therapy doesn’t restore healthy movement and range of motion in the shoulder joint, surgery may be the right option. With frozen shoulder surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will go inside the shoulder joint and release scar tissue that’s causing the frozen shoulder.
Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics treats frozen shoulder patients in Knoxville and throughout East Tennessee. With offices in Sevierville, Crossville, Oak Ridge, Lenoir City, and Knoxville, our board-certified orthopedic specialists are nearby, to help you get the care you need without traveling far from home. Schedule your appointment today, and get on the road to recovery faster.