Dos and Don’ts of Dealing with a Frozen Shoulder

Are you starting to notice that one or both of your shoulders is getting stiff and painful? Have you visited your doctor, only to be told that it's not arthritis but is actually a frozen shoulder? Here are a list of things that you should know about living with this condition:

Don't assume that pain is inevitable as you age

You may be inclined to think that a frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is a part of growing older and assume your only option is to live with your condition. However, you don't have to settle for limited mobility and discomfort. A frozen shoulder can be helped with medical treatment and there are a variety of options available to help you recover your lost mobility. 

Do visit your orthopedic surgeon early on

The orthopedic surgeon will do an assessment to rule out other possible conditions, including arthritis, bursitis, or damage from prior injuries. Once diagnosed, they'll help you to understand how a frozen shoulder is caused by the formation of scar tissue in the shoulder, and then work with you to develop your treatment plan. The sooner you visit your orthopedic surgeon, the less chance you have for future complications, such as increased pain and lessened mobility. 

Don't skip any exercises or physical therapy

You may feel self-conscious as you "spider walk" your fingers up the wall while you stand at attention. Perhaps you might think that it seems futile to use your good arm to lift your affected arm over your head. Or you might feel it's a waste of time because you're not seeing instant results after doing each exercise multiple times a day. However, if your orthopedic surgeon prescribed physical therapy as part of your treatment plan, it is important that you continue the plan until told to stop. You may not feel any immediate relief after working out, but exercising your shoulder can help to slow formation of further adhesions and prevent your condition from worsening.

Do ask for help

If you're the type of person that tries to maintain a stiff upper lip, consider changing your mindset a bit in order to get help with your condition. Ask your orthopedic surgeon, one like Omaha Orthopedic Clinic & Sports Medicine PC, to recommend adaptive aids for your personal life. Explain to your co-workers that while you may look perfectly fine, there are times when you could need their assistance with a variety of tasks. These tasks might be things like removing items from upper storeroom shelves, carrying bulky items, or even reaching something in the back of a display.