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Adhesive Capsulitis of Shoulder

Adhesive Capsulitis of Shoulder

What is a frozen shoulder? — A frozen shoulder is a condition that causes the shoulder to be stiff and unable to move easily. When people have a frozen shoulder, the tissue around the shoulder joint gets thick and tight. This might happen after a person's shoulder gets hurt or if they have shoulder surgery.
What are the symptoms of a frozen shoulder? — People with a frozen shoulder usually have a stiff and painful shoulder and trouble reaching overhead or around to their lower back.
Will I need tests? — Probably not. Your doctor or nurse will talk with you and do an exam. Often that is all that is needed to diagnose frozen shoulder. But your doctor or nurse might want to do an imaging test, such as an X-ray or MRI scan. Imaging tests create pictures of the inside of the body.
How is a frozen shoulder treated? — In most cases, a frozen shoulder will get better on its own, but it can take months to heal completely. To help your shoulder get better, you can:
Rest your shoulder – Avoiding raising your arm overhead, reaching, and lifting things.
Take a pain-relieving medicine – Ask your doctor or nurse about taking an over-the-counter medicine for pain, such as acetaminophen (sample brand name: Tylenol), ibuprofen (sample brand names: Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (sample brand name: Aleve).
Ask your doctor about exercises that can help – At first, the most important thing to do is to rest your shoulder. Later, when the worst of the pain has passed, ask your doctor if it's safe to start trying some simple exercises. If they say it's OK, you can slowly start to do certain exercises (picture 1). After you are comfortable with simple range of motion exercises, your doctor, nurse, or physical therapist (exercise expert) can suggest some other exercises to make the shoulder muscles stronger. They can show you how to do these exercises and tell you when to start them and how often to do them.
Any time you do shoulder exercises, make sure to start slowly and make the exercises harder over time. Also, know that some pain is normal, but it's important not to push it. If you have sharp or tearing pain, stop what you're doing and let your doctor or nurse know.
What if my shoulder doesn't get better? — If your symptoms don't get better, talk with your doctor or nurse about other possible treatments, such as:
Getting a shot of medicine or fluid into the shoulder
All topics are updated as new evidence becomes available and our peer review process is complete.
This topic retrieved from UpToDate on: Mar 30, 2020.
Topic 16309 Version 7.0
Release: 28.2.2 - C28.105
© 2020 UpToDate, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

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