What is Frozen Shoulder?

woman holding shoulder in painFrozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a common condition in which the shoulder stiffens, thus reducing its mobility. While frozen shoulder is often mistaken for arthritis, these conditions are unrelated.

Your shoulder is composed of three bones that form a ball-and-socket joint. These bones are your upper arm (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle). Holding everything together is the shoulder capsule, which is the tissue that surrounds your shoulder joint. When the capsule becomes so thick and tight that it’s hard to move, this is known as frozen shoulder. Bands of scar tissue form, and there’s less of the liquid formed that keeps the joint lubricated (synovial fluid). With this, motion is limited even more.

A person with a frozen shoulder will have a consistently painful and stiff shoulder joint. The pain may worsen at night, making it difficult to sleep. Frozen shoulder typically affects people between 40 and 60 years old.

Frequent and gentle exercise can prevent and possibly reverse shoulder stiffness. The American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons suggests the crossover arm stretch: Hold the upper arm of the affected side, gently pull the arm across in front of you, and hold for thirty seconds. Relax and repeat. If pain and immobility persist, contact a licensed chiropractor in Seffner, FL.