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February 17, 2018

Hard Facts on Frozen Shoulder

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Frozen shoulder, as it’s called, actually has nothing to do with the temperature. It causes pain for many people, which can be prolonged – in fact, one patient in Reader’s Digest Best Health likens it to “a lightning bolt zapping me for 20 seconds.”

The pain can shoot from the shoulder down the arm, making it especially alarming. As the name of the condition suggests, it can also limit range of movement. Let’s take a closer look at 12 facts about frozen shoulder…

1. What Exactly is Frozen Shoulder?

Also referred to as adhesive capsulitis in the medical world, this is caused by connective tissues around the shoulder joint becoming inflamed, leading to pain and stiffness, notes Best Health.

The condition also results in scar tissue forming inside the shoulder capsule, where it presumably gets its medical terminology. The condition affects about 3 to 5-percent of the population, adds the source.

2. It’s a Bit of a Cold Case

The causes of frozen shoulder are somewhat of a medical mystery. “Doctors aren’t sure why this happens to some people,” explains the Mayo Clinic, which adds that it seems to occur more often in patients with diabetes.

If you’re experiencing pain in the shoulder area and stiffness that isn’t obviously related to recent injury, you may have to visit the doctor for a diagnosis.

3. There are Three Main Stages

The Mayo Clinic also breaks the condition down into 3-stages, each with their own unique symptoms. The first stage is actually called the “freezing” stage, as range of motion starts to be negatively impacted.

The second stage is the “frozen” stage, which makes the joint even stiffer – but pain may actually lessen a bit by then. The “thawing” stage is when the range of motion begins to improve, it adds.

4. Causes for Concern

As noted before, the medical world is a bit stumped as to the exact causes, although there are risk factors (which we’ll get to next). MedicalNewsToday.com says it’s believed that frozen occurs from scar tissue forming in the shoulder, making the shoulder capsule “thicken and tighten.”

Periods of not using the shoulder can be a cause, it adds. “Most people with frozen shoulder have experienced immobility as a result of a recent injury or fracture,” says the source.
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