Adhesive capsulitis, commonly known as frozen shoulder, is a very painful condition. Not only is it painful but it gets progressively more stiff. The shoulder or glenohumeral joint is a capsule of connective tissue and this capsule can become inflamed after an injury or consistent overuse. Inflammation occurs in the soft tissues of the joint capsule and its synovial fluid. This leads to fibrosis and adhesions of the joint capsule and its synovial lining. X-ray findings of the bony structures of the shoulder remain negative.
The typical case of a frozen shoulder is usually divided into 3 stages: the painful stage, the stiff or frozen stage, and the recovery or thawing stage. In the painful stage there is a gradual onset of diffuse and disabling shoulder pain that typically worsens at night. The frozen stage is characterized by a progressive loss of movement in all directions and mobility gradually returns during the thawing or recovery phase. The treatment of a frozen shoulder differs in each phase. During the painful phase, the emphasis is on pain relief. Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed, but blocking pain with a TENS unit or acupuncture treatment is the drugless approach used in our treatments at Bloor Jane Physiotherapy. We also teach you how to apply heat or ice packs for some well-deserved pain relief at home. Once stiffness becomes more of a problem, our physiotherapists at Bloor Jane Physiotherapy add manual mobilizations coupled with the modalities. They may traction or mobilize the shoulder joint, gliding it in different directions to loosen the capsule and regain movement. The massage therapist also loosens the soft tissues around the joint incorporating a variety of massage techniques. The therapists teach mobilizing exercises in our gym and create a home exercise program that can be done anywhere. As the recovery phase starts, strengthening and stretching exercises are added to treatment as well as advice about doing functional movements at work or at home. Each phase can last between 2 and 9 months for an overall period of 6 months to 2 years until full recovery, but with physio and massage treatment, that period can be considerably shortened, as our team of therapists gives help and advice every step of the way. Call 416-766-2050 for a free consultation with a physiotherapist or email email@example.com to schedule an appointment. Recover from a frozen shoulder faster with treatment at Bloor Jane Physiotherapy.