Frozen shoulder is one of the most common painful but non-serious condition that affects females more than males, often around the age of 50.
Frozen shoulder is typically described as following
3 stages and it
lasts 2 years on average.
A normal shoulder has elastic shoulder ligaments with adequate bone-to-bone joint space. This allows our shoulder to perform full range-of-motion activities like reaching behind to scratch the back, reach for seatbelt, pick things from the top shelf, etc.
When frozen shoulder sets in, there are gradual, long-lasting changes happening to the shoulder:
People with frozen shoulder typically reports diffused aching in the shoulder, often radiates down the shoulder to the elbow. Stiffness in shoulder movement is also experienced but not obvious initially, with some pain during work, self-care and social activities.
Over time, unlike a typical shoulder strain that should recover in a few weeks, the pain lingers and affects your sleep. The shoulder progressively gets stiffer until it affects your normal activities significantly:
Frozen shoulder is usually diagnosed when other causes of painful restriction of the shoulder have been ruled out. There are similarities and differences between frozen shoulder and other competing shoulder pain hence it requires an experienced healthcare professional to make sense of your symptoms to refer you for appropriate care/investigations.
How did I develop Frozen Shoulder? Frozen shoulder can be catagorised as primary/idiopathic (no obvious cause) or secondary, which can set in after previous shoulder injury or surgery. This happens when you have immobilised the injured shoulder in a sling without sufficient movement to prevent stiffness from setting in. People suffering from diabetes are twice as likely to develop frozen shoulder and also takes a longer time to resolve.