Learn about the causes of Frozen Shoulder & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Frozen Shoulder within New Zealand.
Frozen shoulder is caused by injury or disease to the shoulder joint. The lining of the joint (capsule) becomes inflamed and contracts to give a painful stiff shoulder. Conditions such as tendinitis, bursitis or rotator cuff injury can give rise to frozen shoulder.
Frozen shoulder, sometimes referred to as frozen shoulder syndrome, is
caused by the soft tissue capsule around the shoulder joint becoming
think and swollen. The shoulder joint is a ball and socket at the top
end of the humerus bone that sits within the scapula (shoulder blade).
The capsule stretches when the arm is raised and hangs as a pouch when
the arm is down.
Scar tissue forming in the shoulder capsule causes it to thicken and become tight and swollen leaving less room for the humerus bone in the joint and making movement painful and stiff. Why a frozen shoulder occurs is not fully understood and not always possible to identify but there are a number of known factors that increase the risk of the condition.
Injury to the shoulder (such as a break) or surgery to the shoulder can potentially lead to frozen shoulder syndrome due to the arm being immobile for long periods leading to tightening in the capsule from lack of movement.
Diabetes increases the risk of frozen shoulder syndrome and diabetics are 2-4 times more likely to suffer frozen shoulder, often in both shoulders with more severe symptoms than someone who doesn't have diabetes.
A condition known as Dupuytren's Contracture increases the risk of developing frozen shoulder. The condition causes the fingers to curl into the palm of the hand due to connective tissue in the palm becoming thicker and shortening.
Other health conditions that increase the chances of frozen shoulder include Parkinson's disease, stroke, heart/lung disease and and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland).
The common symptoms of frozen shoulder are pain in the shoulder joint and restricted movement. Carrying out normal activities such as getting dressed, driving and sleep can be made difficult by a frozen shoulder and cause discomfort. Occasionally, the shoulder can completely freeze up hence the name.
Getting an early diagnosis from your GP for frozen shoulder will help
to prevent chronic stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint and lead to
a quicker recovery. A GP will carry out a physical examination of the
shoulder and question you about the symptoms.
The physical examination will typically involve your GP assessing your range of movement in the affected shoulder by getting you to move and stretch the arm and shoulder as far as possible. The GP may also manipulate the shoulder themselves which can be uncomfortable but will act as an indicator to how painful the condition is.
Your GP may also apply pressure to the shoulder to see where the pain is localised and what could be the cause of the problem. If necessary, you may be sent for an X-Ray or MRI scan to rule out other problems or damage within the shoulder.