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Do you have a frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis?

We discussed in our video how to identify if you have a frozen shoulder. In some cases a frozen shoulder could be confused with a rotator cuff tear, labral tear, shoulder impingement or cervical injury. A frozen shoulder also known as adhesive capsulitis is somewhat of an enigma in orthopedic physical therapy. We do know that some people are at greater risk of developing a frozen shoulder or a adhesive capsulitis, which include persons with diabetes, thyroid problems, typically women, persons between 40 and 60 years of age, and postsurgical shoulder cases. It is often of gradual onset, but can occur after a fall on your shoulder or significant trauma. Often the patient can experience significant night pain and difficulty raising your arm in multiple directions, but especially to the side.
When seen by a physician they will often to rule out whether there is not a contribution to the current stiffness by taking routine x-ray or pain. Most times. An MRI is not generally generally warranted, The diagnosis is made partially by the length of time the person is had the problem, x-rays an assessment of the patient’s range of motion. Generally it is a loss of motion in every plane specifically coming from the glenohumeral joint. This this joint and the surrounding capsule shrinks in size for unknown reasons , contributing to less motion at the shoulder. Often times since the motion is so restricted, you may develop problems at the cervical spine, sternolclavicular and acromioclavicular joints depending on length of time the patient has had this problem.
There are three phases that a patient will progress through who has a frozen shoulder. The first phase is 3 to 6 months and is termed the freezing phase. The second phase is the frozen phase where you have no change in range of motion for upwards of 12 to 18 months. Lastly, the thawing phase can last upwards of 12 to 24 months and sometimes longer upwards of three years. Typically, physical therapy will be started in the early freezing phase. We provided three of our top range of motion exercises in our video. . Is important in the early freezing phase, not to aggressively stretch the shoulder which can lead to gradually less motion. Often times patients during the course of treatment may also receive a cortisone injection. One of the last resorts is to get a mobilization under anesthesia.

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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