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Periarthritis Shoulder

If you can’t move your shoulder around like you used to, you could have periarthritis shoulder. When it hurts to move your shoulder or you don’t have as much movement in your shoulder as before, your shoulder may become “frozen.” Because of this, doctors sometimes refer to this problem as Adhesive Capsulitis or Frozen Shoulder.

Symptoms of Periarthritis

  • In this condition, the shoulder joint becomes painful and stiff
  • The cause for this inflammatory disease is not known
  • There occurs a loss of resilience of the joint capsule, possibly due to adhesion formation
  • In the early stages of the disease, the pain is worse at night and the movements are slightly restricted
  • Later, there is pain at all times and all the shoulder movements get severely limited
  • There could possibly be a history of trauma

Does my shoulder actually freeze?

No, it just won’t move. If you don’t use your shoulder enough (because it hurts to move) or if you use it the wrong way, your shoulder will develop scar tissue that stops it from moving much. Your shoulder may go through several stages as the scar tissue forms.

  • The painful stage: At first, your shoulder may ache and feel stiff. Then it may get very painful. This stage may last about 3 to 8 months.
  • The adhesive stage: During the second stage, you may not actually have as much pain, but your shoulder keeps getting stiffer. This stage usually lasts about 4 to 6 months.
  • The recovery stage: The final stage, which usually lasts about 1 to 3 months, isn’t very painful. It becomes very hard to move your shoulder even a little bit. Then after a while, the stiffness slowly goes away. You can move your shoulder again. Although you may not get the full movement of your shoulder back, you should be able to do many more activities. As your shoulder movement increases, you may still have pain at times.

Causes & Risk Factors

The precise cause of Frozen Shoulder is unknown. It can occur after a single traumatic injury to the shoulder, especially in the area of the joint capsule; overuse injuries or repetitive stress such as in competitive sports; prolonged immobilization of the shoulder as in the case of a fracture. Women and people over 40 are more likely to develop this condition. Moreover, certain statistical relationships have been observed that raise interesting questions. People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing this problem than the general population. The same is true for people with chronic fatigue syndrome, people with history of heart disease or strokes, and people with hypo- or hyperthyroidism. In view of these statistical relationships, adhesive capsulitis has been considered by researchers to have an autoimmune component, meaning that the body’s immune system may attack the healthy parts of the body, in this case the capsule and connective tissue of the shoulder.

The onset of pain, aggravated by excess movements of the shoulder joints may be insidious or acute. Soreness, stiffness and dysfunction of the shoulder are some major clinical manifestations of this condition. If inflammation occurs within the capsule, the bones in the shoulder become incapable of moving. On the other hand, some patients cannot move the shoulder joint at all.

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