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Frozen shoulder (also known as adhesive capsulitis) is a condition in which the shoulder becomes painful and stiff. Scar tissue formed in the shoulder leads to a reduction in mobility, sometimes becoming completely ‘frozen’. Unfortunately, the reason why frozen shoulder occurs is not well understood.
Symptoms usually start slowly and progress in three stages with each stage typically lasting a number of months. In the first phase, movement causes sharp shoulder pain and shoulder movement becomes limited. In the second phase, shoulder pain may begin to ease but the shoulder stiffness continues to increase. In the third phase, the stiffness and residual shoulder pain slowly begins to improve.
Without treatment, symptoms usually improve but this may take up to 2-3 years. Treatment can ease pain and speed-up recovery of movement.
Impingement syndrome occurs when there is a ‘pinching’ of one of the tendons in the shoulder when the arm is lifted. Over time this pinching can result in damage of the tendon leading to a shoulder tendinosis or tendinitis (see below).
Shoulder Tendinosis / Tendinitis
Tendinosis (tendon degeneration) and tendinitis (tendon inflammation) of the shoulder are common complaints. The main symptoms are shoulder pain and loss of shoulder movement. The tendons of the ‘rotator cuff’ (a group of small muscles that stabilise the shoulder joint) are most commonly affected. If left unresolved, these conditions can progress to eventual partial or full-thickness tearing of the tendons (rotator cuff tear).
Tendon damage is largely a result of increased tendon strain and overload. This occurs for 2 primary reasons:
- Faulty movement patterns. Faulty or compensated movement can lead to greater strain on the shoulder tendons. By addressing dysfunctional movement, strain on the tendon can be reduced and shoulder pain improved.
Other factors, such as nutrition, have also been shown to play a role in tendon injuries. Diets that are high in simple sugars and refined oils and low in fruit and vegetables reduce tendon resilience.
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“When I started I had back and shoulder pain. Now I have much more ease of movement, a better understanding of posture, and exercises to improve how I hold myself. I feel much better 🙂