Frozen shoulder (otherwise known as adhesive capsulitis) occurs when the sleeve that surrounds the shoulder joint, known as the capsule, becomes swollen and thickened. It’s unclear why this happens. The shoulder capsule is fully stretched when you raise your arm above your head, and hangs down as a small tear-shaped pouch when your arm is lowered.
In frozen shoulder, bands of scar tissue form inside the shoulder capsule, causing it to thicken, swell, tighten and stick together. This means there is less elasticity in the shoulder capsule for the shoulder joint to move (see image below).
Treatments can be the use of a steriodal injection into the joint, manual therapy (osteopathy), manipulation under anaesthetic or surgery. The prognosis for a frozen shoulder is around nine months or more, depending on the severity.
Osteopathic treatment will include stretching, massage and articulation of the joint as well as treatment to the surrounding tissue which may waste during the ‘freezing’ phase of the condition.
If you have diabetes, you have a greater risk of developing a frozen shoulder.
It is estimated that people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop a frozen shoulder.
If you have diabetes, the symptoms of frozen shoulder are likely to be more severe and harder to treat. You are also more likely to develop the condition in both shoulders.
This means it’s important to have your diabetes checked regularly to make sure it is controlled with the right medication.
The term ‘frozen shoulder’ has become synonymous with any pain in the shoulder where movement is painful and is often misdiagnosed. Your osteopath will provide an in-depth test of the shoulder to eliminate all other tissue-causing symptoms.
Healthy Shoulder Joint
Inflamed Shoulder Capsule