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Frozen Shoulder Treatment

A frozen shoulder occurs when the tissue lining your shoulder joint (called glenohumeral) becomes thicker and less flexible. The exact cause is uncertain, but injuries might lead to a frozen shoulder, and it's more frequent in individuals with diabetes.

Symptoms of frozen shoulder

The first stage is a sharp pain when you try and move your shoulder. This usually gets worse at night and can last between six to nine months.

The second is the frozen stage, where your shoulder becomes less painful but very stiff. This lasts between four months to a year.

The third is where your shoulder slowly returns to normal — this can take up to five years.

What are the signs of a frozen shoulder?

The primary symptoms of a frozen shoulder are stiffness and pain. It might feel as if your shoulder is "frozen" and difficult to move.

This condition usually progresses through three stages:

Initial Stage: You may experience intense pain when attempting to move your shoulder, especially worsening at night. This phase typically lasts from six to nine months.

Frozen Stage: Your shoulder pain decreases, but the stiffness remains significant. This stage lasts between four months to a year.

Thawing Stage: Gradually, your shoulder begins to regain its normal function. This phase can extend for up to five years.

Your consultant will talk with you about your symptoms to determine if you have a frozen shoulder. They will also examine your shoulder. In some cases, they might recommend an X-ray or MRI scan to rule out other possible causes of your shoulder pain.

You might receive the following treatments:

Physiotherapy: This helps improve muscle and joint recovery through targeted exercises.

Steroid Injection (Hydrodistension): This injection can lessen pain, enhance movement, and make physiotherapy sessions more comfortable.

Keyhole Surgery: In some cases, a minimally invasive procedure may be performed to release the tight tissues restricting your shoulder.

Why choose Sulis Hospital for your shoulder treatment?

Sulis Hospital Shoulder Unit is a specialist unit with highly experienced surgeons.

Shoulder pain can be distressing and reduce your mobility, confidence and quality of life. Lengthy waits for surgery can affect your fitness, health and wellbeing. We offer direct access to investigation, diagnosis and surgery for shoulder problems so that you can get back on your feet as quickly as possible

Treatment Overview

Combining a calming hospital environment with outstanding patient care so you can recover as quickly as possible.

  • Covered by health insurance? Yes

  • Can I pay privately? Yes

You’re in safe hands at Sulis Hospital.

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