Pharmacy Clinical Pearl of the Day: Frozen Shoulder

The risk of developing frozen shoulder increases during recovery from a medical condition or procedure that prevents arm movement.

Clinical Pearl of the Day: Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint.

Insight:

  • Signs and symptoms typically begin gradually, worsen over time and then resolve, usually within 1 to 3 years.
  • The risk of developing frozen shoulder increases if recovering from a medical condition or procedure that prevents arm movement—such as a stroke or a mastectomy.
  • Symptoms may include motion problems, pain, and discomfort in the affected area.
  • Causes: The bones, ligaments and tendons that make up the shoulder joint are encased in a capsule of connective tissue. Frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint, restricting its movement.
  • Risk factors include being female and over 40 years of age.
  • Diagnosis may include MRI, X-ray and other imaging studies.
  • Treatment may include pain medications, such as ibuprofen, physical therapy with motion exercises, steroid injections, joint distension, shoulder manipulation, and possible surgery.

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