Frozen shoulder is a painful condition that usually occurs after an illness or injury that reduces motion or movement of a shoulder. Lack of normal movement causes the joint, muscles and tendons to tighten. The condition usually occurs slowly while a person is recovering from some other malady such as a stroke, broken bone or other type of arm surgery. It is also a slow recovery, with a variety of treatment options used to relieve the condition, including physical therapy.
Physical Therapy for Frozen Shoulder
Once a patient has been diagnosed with frozen shoulder, there are standard treatments that are used to begin recovery. First, anti-inflammatory agents and heat are used to help reduce pain. These can be used as home treatments to manage pain but for recovery, movement is necessary. Physical therapy is a way to begin stretching and gaining strength in the shoulder with the use of strategic techniques such as aquatic therapy, shoulder manipulation, manual therapy, dry needling and muscle energy. A Certified Manual Therapist or CMT can work with the patient to gain movement and function back in the joint.
In some cases, more aggressive treatment may be needed for frozen shoulders that do not respond not home treatments and physical therapy alone. Medications and even surgery can be used in chronic frozen shoulder, but these are usually used in conjunction with physical therapy.
If you have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder, finding a physical therapy clinic that has CMTs on staff that are experienced in treating this condition will be critical in your recovery. Research local physical therapy clinics to find one that specializes in treating frozen shoulder before beginning treatment.
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