Frozen shoulder is a common cause of shoulder pain but it is often misdiagnosed as a condition affecting the rotator cuff. This is different from rotator cuff tendonitis or a rotator cuff tear and while both can trigger significant pain, this condition can result to a rigid joint.
Individuals who have the condition have limited mobility of the joint and often complain of intense pain even while performing simple activities. Frozen shoulder is typically found among women, middle-aged individuals (40-60 years old) and in some cases, there is no evident cause. There are various conditions that are considered as risk factors for individuals to develop one.
Immobilization is a common cause which is oftentimes called as “secondary” frozen shoulder. This is often due to surgery, traumatic injury or other reasons in which the shoulder joint was immobilized.
Some individuals who sustained fractures on the shoulder might end up with this condition. A rotator cuff surgery is also another cause for secondary frozen shoulder.
The most common condition among individuals who spontaneously end up with the condition are endocrine abnormalities. Actually, some individuals with the condition have no knowledge of any underlying endocrine abnormality and it is only after diagnosis with a frozen shoulder that one discovers that there is an underlying illness.
The most common conditions include thyroid conditions and diabetes. Those who develop spontaneous frozen shoulder should discuss with a doctor for further screening for these conditions.
Abnormalities with the heart including coronary artery disease and other heart issues can result to the development of a frozen shoulder.
Neurologic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease might develop in some individuals who have a spontaneous case. These conditions might be a risk factor for the development of this condition.
Even though these conditions might make an individual more susceptible to the development of a frozen shoulder, the usual cause of the condition is “idiopathic” or simply unknown.
Management for a frozen shoulder
When it comes to frozen shoulder, it can be an exasperating condition. The exact cause is often unknown, yet the symptoms can take years to fully resolve. The stages of frozen shoulder are slow to develop. Luckily, the pain tends to improve in just a few months but the challenge is the recovery of mobility that can take up to years.
In most cases, physical therapy along with other treatment options can ensure that the individual can recover from the condition. Remember that the pain might take months to resolve while motion might never fully return, but the functionality almost always returns back to normal. In addition, surgery is seldom required to recover from this condition.