Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. It typically develops slowly and can worsen over time, causing limited range of motion and difficulty with everyday activities. While “frozen shoulder” may cause you to think this is a wintertime malady, it has nothing to do with cold weather.

What Causes Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder occurs when the capsule of tissue enclosing the shoulder joint thickens and tightens, restricting movement. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including:

  1. Immobilization: Keeping the shoulder still for a long period of time, such as after surgery or a broken arm, can increase the risk of developing a frozen shoulder.
  2. Injury: A shoulder injury, such as a rotator cuff tear, can lead to a frozen shoulder.
  3. Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or thyroid disorders, can increase the risk of developing a frozen shoulder.

Symptoms of Adhesive Capsulitis

Adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder, is a condition that affects the mobility of the shoulder joint. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, there are several signs that you may be developing a frozen shoulder.

Pain & Stiffness

The most common symptom of frozen shoulder is pain and stiffness in the shoulder. This pain and stiffness can be mild or severe and may worsen at night or when you try to move your arm. You may also feel a deep ache in the shoulder that is difficult to pinpoint.

Limited Range of Motion

Another sign of a frozen shoulder is a limited range of motion in the shoulder joint. You may struggle to reach behind your back or lift your arm above your head, which can make performing everyday activities difficult and frustrating.

Difficulty Sleeping

If you have frozen shoulder, you may find it difficult to sleep comfortably at night due to the pain and discomfort in your shoulder. This can cause a loss of sleep, which can lead to other health problems if left untreated.

Muscle Weakness

As the condition progresses, you may experience muscle weakness in your affected arm. This can make it difficult to perform tasks that require upper body strength, such as lifting heavy objects or pushing a door open.

Difficulty with Everyday Activities

Additionally, frozen shoulder can make it difficult to perform everyday activities such as getting dressed, reaching for objects or carrying groceries. This can significantly impact one’s quality of life, making it important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

The pain and stiffness associated with frozen shoulder will develop gradually and worsen over time, causing limited motion and difficulty with use. This is caused when the capsule of tissue enclosing the shoulder joint thickens and tightens, restricting movement. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment.

Can I Get Frozen Shoulder in the Summer?

Yes, you can get a frozen shoulder in the summer. In fact, some people may even be more at risk during the summer months due to increased physical activity. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain or stiffness, seek treatment early from Steven Struhl, MD—AC Joint Separation in New York, to prevent the condition from worsening. With the right treatment and care, you can prevent and manage a frozen shoulder and enjoy a pain-free summer.

Posted on behalf of Steven Struhl MD