“It might start as just upper arm pain, or a tingling in the elbow… but leave it alone and it can stay with you for years.”
A frozen shoulder is the stiffening of the shoulder due to damaged or scarred tissue that causes pain in movement and reduced motion. It is found more in women than men, and most common in women aging from 40-60 years old. Research has shown that 3% of the general public and 20% of diabetic patients suffer from a frozen shoulder. Getting a frozen shoulder treatment quickly thus becomes important to prevent further issues.
There are many causes of a frozen shoulder, like inflammation of the joint line or an autoimmune reaction in which the body attacks against one’s own body. It can also be caused by an accident or even surgery.
A frozen shoulder has four stages:
- The first stage is pre-freezing, where the pain is in its initial stages, indicated by pain while moving the arms and lasts for around 1-3 months.
- The second stage is freezing, in which the pain increased significantly. Motion is decreased and limited and lasts up to 3-9 months.
- The third stage is frozen, the pain slowly decreases while motion is still limited and lasts up to 9-14 months.
- The fourth and last stage is thawing, in which the pain is slowly disappearing and normal, painless movements are gradually coming back and lasts up to 12-15 months.
For a little more information on these stages, Lee Health has a fantastic video that provides a little more detail:
Several studies have shown that physiotherapy is very helpful and efficient in helping patients recovering from a frozen shoulder.
Physiotherapy aims to help by administering frozen shoulder treatment in stages.
Initially, the therapist will examine your symptoms and do a full checkup to assess the severity of your shoulder. Minor pain relief is applied with either an ice pack or hot pack to ease the soreness, which will then be accompanied by the demonstration of exercises that will improve movement such as stretching and relaxing the shoulder muscles. This aims to ease and restore arm and shoulder flexibility and movement. Please note that the type of exercise to be used depends on the severity of the injury.
In later stages, as the shoulder begins to heal, the exercises become more advanced and include aggressive stretching and other techniques leading to normal activities and normal movement of the shoulder. The frozen shoulder treatment is concluded by having a couple follow-up checks to assure that the condition has indeed gotten better, as well as a debrief where the therapist gives advice to ensure something like this does not happen again in the future.
Physical therapy as a frozen shoulder treatment is very important as it helps to heal the body quickly, providing immediate pain relief and reducing the discomfort experienced, while speeding up the healing process.
If you would like to try to self-remedy at home, here is another informative video by Upright Health showing exercises you can do to try to help relieve the pain:
Pain Away Clinic is amongst the leading clinics and has the best knowledge and technology available in Bangkok. Frozen shoulder treatment is something that we perform every day and we have treated thousands of patients. You can read some of their success stories here. We are more than happy to give you a quick consultation if you have any questions or are looking to get a professional opinion.
If you think you suffer from a frozen shoulder or are experiencing any of the symptoms, feel free to reach out to us, or come on down to our clinic at Asoke, Bangkok so that we can help you get a proper diagnosis and find you an effective treatment plan to speed up your recovery.