Stage 1 painful /freezing
constant pain with minimal to no motion loss that progress in intensity
Stage 2 stiff/frozen
increasing pain and stiffness that severely restricts arm use and disturbs sleep
Stage 3 recovery/thawing
reduced pain frequency and severity and slow resolution of shoulder stiffness.
Management of the patient with frozen shoulder is dependent on the stage of the condition. In the early stages where inflammation is the predominant cause of pain, medication such as NSAIDS (advil,alleve, IB profen, etc.) and/or steroid injections into the shoulder joint given by an experienced specialty physician is the treatment of choice. Later in the course of the disorder (late stage 2 or stage 3) when pain at rest has abated mechanical therapy under the guidance of an experienced physical therapist is very effective at resolving the mechanical pain caused by the excessive scarring that occurs in the joint capsule, ensuring full restoration of normal shoulder functions. Appropriate frequency and intensity of mechanical therapy is guided by the patient’s pain response. The primary mode of treatment is end range stretching exercises in various directions, but manual therapy techniques can be employed as complementary treatment if tolerated by the patient. In general the aim of the mechanical therapy is to decrease pain and restore movement by gradually and progressively stretching the abnormal capsular tissue in a way that does not create further trauma to the tissues, yet hastens the restoration of elasticity in the involved tissues. This is accomplished by frequently and repetitively producing or increasing the familiar pain but only while the therapy is being performed or for a very short while afterwards.
If you have a similar problem and live in the Oklahoma City, OK area let Stover PT guide you through the recovery process. If you live else where you can find knowledgeable help here.
Kelley, M. J., McClure, P. W., & Leggin, B. G. (2009, February).
Frozen Shoulder: Evidence and a Proposed Model Guiding Rehabilitation. JOSPT, 39(2), 135-149.
Laslett, M. (1996). Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy: The Upper Limb.
McKenzie, R., & May, S. (2000). The Human Extremities: Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy. Wellington, New Zealand: Spinal Publications New Zealand Ltd.
McKenzie, R., Watson, G., & Lindsay, R. (2009). Treat Your Own Shoulder. Spinal Publications New Zealand Limited