• Carolina Regional Orthopaedics

What to Do for a Frozen Shoulder



A frozen shoulder can impact your daily life, causing a loss of movement in your upper body. It can affect the shoulder on the left or right side of your body. In addition, you may feel numbness, pain, or stiffness as you try to move your shoulder. There are many treatment options to try before seeking a total shoulder replacement.


Why Do I Have a Frozen Shoulder?


The correct medical term for frozen shoulder is adhesive capsulitis, which affects the ball and socket joint. The shoulder capsule surrounds the joint and can become inflamed over time from an injury, aging, or other medical condition. This inflammation can cause your shoulder joint to tighten up, causing a loss of movement. There are generally three stages of frozen shoulders. The first is when inflammation occurs, and you feel pain. You may start to feel your shoulder stiffen up through the next stage. This can last from 3 to 6 months. In the final stage, your shoulder will loosen up, and pain will decrease. This does not always happen on its own, so you may need professional medical treatment.


Are There Treatments for Frozen Shoulder?


Before you ever consider shoulder replacement, you will try treatment first. First, start with anti-inflammatory and pain medication to give you relief. Physical therapy will be another option to help you gain a full range of movement back in the shoulder. A physical therapist will teach you how to achieve the correct balance between shoulder stretches and when you've gone too far. They'll also give you an exercise plan you can do at home each day.


What Surgical Options Are Available?


If you're still in pain after several months and have not achieved entire shoulder movement, your next option may be shoulder replacement surgery. The medical term for this surgery is shoulder arthroplasty. The surgery involves removing damaged areas of bone in the shoulder region, then replacing them with implants made of metal and plastic. Recovery can be quick, but you'll need to take care of your shoulder movements over the next six months.


Carolina Regional Orthopaedics, P.A.


If you're experiencing intense pain and loss of movement in your shoulder, please book an appointment with Carolina Regional Orthopaedics, P.A. today. Our qualified doctors will help diagnose your frozen shoulder and provide a specific treatment plan to regain your entire range of movement. So whether you are suffering from a painful injury, have arthritis, or have no idea why your shoulder has locked up, please book an appointment with us by calling 252-443-0400 today, so you don't have to suffer for another day.


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