When the shoulder is immobilised, physical changes take place in the sleeve that surrounds the shoulder joint, known as the capsule, which becomes inflamed and thickened, resulting in a condition called frozen shoulder.
Frozen shoulder can develop as a result of keeping the arm and shoulder still for long periods of time during recovery following an injury, such as a fracture, or after surgery. The risk of developing a frozen shoulder is increased among sufferers of certain other medical conditions including diabetes, calcific tendonitis, rotator cuff tear, heart disease, Dupuytren’s contracture, stroke, lung disease, thyroid disease and breast cancer.
Treatment can include one or more of the following:
- Stretching exercises
- Cortisone injections
- Physiotherapy – soft tissue massage and joint mobilisation
- Anti-inflammatory medications
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