Frozen Shoulder Information.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder, or to give it, its proper name, Adhesive Capsulitis is a shoulder problem that is characterised by pain and lack of movement.

Why it happens and what it actually is, is unknown, but it does happen more frequently to specific groups of people. It affects 1-2% of the general population, although in people with diabetes this is higher, About 10-20% of the population.

Causes of Frozen Shoulder

There are several competing theories to the causes of why people get of Frozen Shoulder, although some of the reasons may be inter related to each other.

  • Postural
  • Hormonal
  • Autoimmune
  • Genetic
  • Histopathic

Who is most at Risk of Frozen Shoulder?

  • Ageing: over 50’s
  • Posture: Round shouldered posture, and people that have upper crossed syndrome
  • Occupation: Your job or activities may have an effect of Frozen Shoulder. Overuse maybe the cause although going from relative under use to normal use may be a bigger problem
  • Weight: Being overweight or obese. There are a few possibilities for this. Some may be related to sedentary behaviour, others to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome 
  • Diabetes: Type I and II. 
  • Immobilization/splinting: This appears to be due to the lack of movement. It allows the adhesion to happen, because there is no movement.
  • Surgery: There seem to be two proposed reasons for this; one is immobilisation caused by pain and swelling after surgery and the other possibility is low grade infection and inflammation leading to frozen shoulder.
  • Fracture: reasons maybe similar to surgery. I broke my shoulder following a fall and the insights from this have changed my management of shoulder pain in general. I have a YouTube playlist of me talking about my shoulder fracture.

Stages of Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder is described as having three stages, but some authorities on Frozen Shoulder describe another earlier pre-adhesive stage. In my experience, I have found this to be true at least part of the time.
The Four stages of Frozen Shoulder are:

  1. Pre-Adhesive stage. (pre-Phase 1) Here the patient has the signs and symptoms of ‘impingement syndrome’ where the range of movement is not affected, but there may be a pain within certain areas of those movements.
  2. Phase I: The freezing painful phase
  3. Phase II: The frozen stiff phase
  4. Phase III: The thawing resolving phase

How long does Frozen Shoulder last?

Without treatment Frozen shoulder can take between on average between one and five years. In some cases movement never returns fully. The Niel Asher “defrost” technique that I use can increase the rate of resolution of your frozen shoulder. 

table comparing chronicity of treatment with the Niel Asher Technique & no treatment.

As you can see, The Niel Asher Technique isn’t a miracle cure for your frozen shoulder, but it can help accelerate you through the pain and discomfort you get with Frozen shoulder, returning you to your normal life and activities  

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