The Different Stages of Frozen Shoulder
A frozen shoulder is a condition that impacts your shoulder joint. It can be a slow-moving condition that builds up over a 3-year span. It often resolves itself after the condition goes through its full cycle. It usually causes pain and stiffness. Your shoulder feels so stiff that it becomes difficult to move. This typically impacts one shoulder, which may feel achy.
Frozen shoulder symptoms usually include a pain that starts in the shoulder muscles and wraps around to the top of your arm. You may also feel that painful sensation at the top of your arm. This condition makes it difficult to sleep because it feels worse at night.
Frozen shoulder has a lifecycle of about 3 years and it moves through 3 phases during that time. Each phase is unique and has its own characteristics. There is no set period of time for each phase, but they each last many months.
The first stage is called the Freezing Stage. This is when you begin to feel pain in your shoulder any time you move it. The pain may or may not be severe. The pain slowly gets worse and may hurt more when you are trying to sleep at night. You may begin to have a limited range of motion in your shoulder which prevents you from moving it completely. This stage can last from 6 to 9 months.
The second stage is the Frozen Stage. During this stage, you may find that your pain decreases and starts to feel better. Your range of motion gets worse because the stiffness increases in your shoulder. You will not be able to move your shoulder and regular everyday activities become challenging. This stage can last from 4 to 12 months.
The third and final stage is the Thawing Stage. This is the stage where everything starts to really improve. Your range of motion goes back to normal and you can move it again. This can be the longest of all the stages as it can take 6 to 12 months for your range of motion to go back to normal.
There are some factors that might make you more likely to suffer from this condition. If you have had a reduced range of motion in your shoulder due to a broken arm, surgery, stroke, or injury to your rotator cuff, you may be more likely to suffer from a frozen shoulder. Women over the age of 40 are more likely to suffer from a frozen shoulder. If you suffer from diabetes, Parkinson’s, tuberculosis, a thyroid condition, or heart disease, you may find yourself more likely to have a frozen shoulder.
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