If you suffer from a frozen shoulder, you are likely experiencing a great deal of discomfort and stress around how to get relief and heal your joint. Having joint issues can be very frightening and you may be worried about what diagnosis a doctor will give you. It can, therefore, be helpful to know what to expect from your doctor in terms of frozen shoulder treatment and recovery time. This article will give you some valuable information helping you to know what to expect.
What is a Frozen Shoulder?
A frozen shoulder is a condition affecting your shoulder joint where it becomes stiff and you are unable to move it like you normally would. Your shoulder is a complex ball-and-socket joint, which is made up of three different bones as well as the surrounding tissue that holds everything together and is called the shoulder capsule.
A frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule becomes tight, thick, and difficult to move. There is no precise knowledge on what exactly causes a frozen shoulder, but it can cause great discomfort and even full loss of motion for the joint. These symptoms could persist in your shoulder for anywhere between one and three years, making it a very disruptive condition; this makes it important to seek frozen shoulder treatment as soon as possible.
Frozen Shoulder Diagnosis
When you go see a doctor about frozen shoulder treatment, they will first give you a brief physical exam to diagnose your condition. This will involve having you try to move your arm and show the doctor how far your current range of active motion is. After this the doctor will test your passive range of motion as well, by having you keep your body neutral and moving your arm for you. Most of the time this quick exam is enough to diagnose, but in some cases the doctor may give you a local anesthetic while doing the exam or use an image test to more accurately assess the situation.
Frozen Shoulder Treatments
Once the doctor has gained enough information to properly diagnose your condition, they will recommend methods of treatment, which will vary depending on the severity and progression of your frozen shoulder. In some cases, a doctor may recommend an over-the-counter medication to help with the pain and discomfort. It is likely that your frozen shoulder treatment will also include physical therapy sessions to help stretch and loosen the joint to gradually regain range of motion.
In cases where there is not a great deal of improvement, doctors may recommend additional types of frozen shoulder treatment, including joint distention, shoulder manipulation, a corticosteroid injection, or surgery to help correct the issues. Most of the time, however, while it may take a long time to heal, quality physical therapy and simple pain medication can be used to treat this type of shoulder condition.