Question :

"Frozen Shoulder" or Adhesive Capsulitis: treatment options

Dear Ask The Doctor:
Hello, I was diagnosed with Frozen Shoulder July of 2011. I started to have some symptoms December 2010, it got worse July 2011 Went to an Ortho diagnosed with Frozen Shoulder. There's pain when I raise my arm, and my motion is limited. Pain when I wash and blow dry my hair. I've been doing physical therapy exercises 1 or twice a day sometimes I don't do them. Been doing that since beginning of August. I can tell some relief, but are you able to tell me when I will get some major relief? I do use heating pads also.I am 53 years old


Answer :

Dear Patient: 
The “Frozen Shoulder” or Adhesive Capsulitis treatment basically consists of pain control and physical therapy, most patients get relief just with these two steps, but the whole process may take several months or longer. One of the most important things in the treatment is the stretching exercises; they increase the range of movements and prevent the loss of muscle in the affected arm, these exercises, for to be effective must be performed several times a day (not only when you go to the P.T). It is useful to use moist heat locally previous to the exercise in order to loosen up the joint and facilitate the exercises. If the mentioned treatments do not resolve the frozen shoulder, then, you might need to have surgery. If this is the case, the surgeon may perform a manipulation under anesthesia, which is performed with the person sedated under anesthesia, and the doctor moves the arm to break up adhesions caused by frozen shoulder. There is no actual surgery involved, meaning incisions are not made when a manipulation is performed.


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