Frozen Shoulder

The Sydney Shoulder Clinic has a wealth of experience in treating frozen shoulder. This condition is by no means uncommon. It affects around 3% of the population – mostly those over 40. The condition is more common amongst women. Previous injury or surgery (heart or breast) is a common risk factor along with a variety of medical conditions including diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and inflammatory disorders. It may take up to 2 years for a frozen shoulder to resolve. 95% of people recover within this time.

3 Phases of Frozen Shoulder

Those with a frozen shoulder will go through three stages, which are referred to as:

  1. The Freezing Phase – this lasts between 2-9 months, and is characterised by significant pain during rest, activity and during the evening. Your shoulder movement will slowly start to reduce.
  2. The Frozen Phase – This lasts around 12 months and is characterised by progressive stiffness.
  3. The Thawing-Out Phase – You will reach this phase after approximately 12 months, and you will start to notice some improvement in movement and little to no pain. The movement will normally release over the next 6 to 12 months.

Most patients recover completely, although about 20% of people will have minor permanent restriction in their range of motion.

How is Frozen Shoulder Treated?

Your condition will improve naturally over time. It is important to still use your shoulder, without overdoing it or enduring significant discomfort. With the guidance of Sydney Shoulder Clinic, we will show you how to manage pain and activity levels.

Medications such as analgesics and anti-inflammatories, can also be used. The affects of medication vary for each individual, and you should seek advice from your doctor. You may also opt for cortisone injections into the joint, although this may only provide temporary relief.

Physiotherapy plays an important role in recovery with exercises designed to build strength. It is important to note that exercises undertaken in the first two phases should be performed with comfort. If they caused significant pain they should be stopped until phase 3.

How long Does Frozen Shoulder Last?

People with frozen shoulder should expect to live with the condition for between 9 and 24 months. You will gradually progress through each phase of the condition as outlined above. Rest assured that your physiotherapist at Sydney Shoulder Clinic will determine the best course of treatment for you.

What is Hydrodilatation and Post-Injection Stretching?

Hydrodilatation is a injection technique which can help patients advance through the stages of frozen shoulder at a faster rate. The long-term improvement outcomes of this treatment are not well understood, but it has been shown to often improve movement and help with pain reduction in the short term.

The post-injection stretching process is critical to your recovery, and you will be shown appropriate stretches by your physiotherapist.

Suffering from Frozen Shoulder? Schedule an Appointment at Sydney Shoulder Clinic Today.

Frozen shoulder is a self-limiting condition, but it is one that is easily treated and usually resolves within 2 years. Sydney Shoulder Clinic has a wealth of experience with this condition and would be happy to provide free physio phone advice, obligation free. Please call today on 9744 2201 to speak with Tim Neville, Physiotherapist.