Frozen shoulder happens when the lining that goes around the shoulder joint gets inflamed, possibly the result of a small injury. It thickens over time, forming scar tissue.
"The scientific name that we give it is adhesive capsulitis, says Dr. Christopher Camp, a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon. "Basically, it's a condition when the shoulder gets tight and you can't move it very well. Frozen shoulder exists in three stages, and the symptoms and treatment options depend on which stage you're in."
Camp says that the first stage is inflammatory. That's the painful stage. Rest and steroid injections may help. The second stage is when the shoulder may be less painful but starts to stiffen. Physical therapy works well then. The third phase …
"… is what we call thawing, which means it finally starts to relax, loosen up and gain motion back again," Camp says.
If it doesn't resolve in six to 12 months, surgery may be an option. Talk to your health care provider if you have shoulder pain.
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