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Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder Causes

Doctors do not yet know the precise cause of frozen shoulder. It can arise after an injury to your shoulder or prolonged immobilization of your shoulder, such as after surgery or an arm fracture.

Frozen Shoulder Definition

Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, is a condition marked by stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. As the condition progresses, the shoulder's range of motion becomes markedly reduced. Frozen shoulder typically affects one shoulder at a time, although some people may eventually develop frozen shoulder in the opposite shoulder.

Frozen Shoulder Diagnosis

Frozen shoulder can also be diagnosed if limits to the active range of motion (range of motion from active use of muscles) are similar or almost the same as the limits to the passive range of motion (range of motion from a person manipulating the arm and shoulder). An arthrogram or an MRI scan may confirm the diagnosis - although in practice this is rarely needed.

Frozen Shoulder Symptoms and Signs

With a frozen shoulder, one sign is that the joint becomes so tight and stiff that it is almost impossible to carry out simple movements, such as raising the arm. People complain that the stiffness and pain worsen during nighttime. Pain due to frozen shoulder is typically dull or aching. It can be exacerbated with attempted motion.

Frozen Shoulder Treatment

Doctors may recommend the following treatments: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), heat or cold, corticosteroids, surgery, shoulder manipulation, and electric stimulation.

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