Adhesive Capsulitis, commonly known as a frozen shoulder, occurs in about 5% of the American population. It occurs in women more so and often diagnosed in people over the age of 45. The actual cause of adhesive capsulitis is a yet not clear.
Causes could include:
• Trauma, after an injury or surgery
• Pain from other conditions, such as arthritis, a rotator cuff tear, bursitis, or tendinitis, that has caused a person to stop moving the shoulder
• Immobilization of the arm, such as in a sling, after surgery or fracture
Patients with adhesive capsulitis experience shoulder stiffness, increased pain and a loss of movement. Pain due to frozen shoulder is usually dull or aching and may be worse at night and with any motion.
Your physical therapist will perform a thorough evaluation, including an extensive health history, to rule out other potential problems and will look for a specific shoulder movement pattern deficit.
Physical therapists create an individualized exercise program along with manual techniques to restore and maintain shoulder movement. Treatment may also include heat and ice treatments (modalities) to help relax the muscles prior to other forms of treatment. You will also be provided with a home exercise program to help restore the lost motion. Your progress is monitored and the rehabilitation program is adjusted and advanced as the patient makes improvements.