Treating Frozen Shoulder Effectively & With Faster Results
For many, frozen shoulder can be a huge challenge, significantly limiting one’s ability to function normally and comfortably. Typically, the condition has been treated with months of extensive physical therapy, and relief of symptoms aren’t seen until 7-9 months in. Now, symptom resolution can begin to occur in as little as 3 days. How? By utilizing the well-established hydrodistention procedure in combination with three simple exercises designed to improve the shoulder’s range of motion.
What is Frozen Shoulder?
Frozen shoulder is a condition in which inflammation of the ligaments in the shoulder causes adhesions to form. These adhesions result in a restricted range of motion. Most often, frozen shoulder makes it especially difficult for patients to spread their arm out (think of the position your arm is in if you were doing jumping jacks, to get a better idea of the restricted motion).
There are two categories of frozen shoulder: primary and secondary. When a patient has primary frozen shoulder, it means that there is no known cause of the condition (i.e. no condition existed that triggered the frozen shoulder). Secondary frozen shoulder means that a specific condition triggered the patient’s episode of frozen shoulder, such as acute bursitis, inflammation of the bursa, a fluid filled sack in the shoulder that reduces friction, or rotator cuff injuries.
How Does Hydrodistention Work to Treat Frozen Shoulder?
When adhesions form in the shoulder, they stick together, resulting in a decreased range of movement. For hydrodistention, the joint is injected with a local anesthetic and corticosteroid, numbing the area, and then saline is injected into the shoulder. The saline causes the ligaments to distend, which gently breaks apart the adhesions. The shoulder is then carefully manipulated (moved) by the physician, restoring the patient's range of motion with no significant pain.
After the hydrodistention procedure, there are three basic arm movement exercises the patient will do using a t-bar (or golf club, PVC pipe, etc). The premise of these exercises is to move the shoulder in ways which were impossible prior to the hydrodistention procedure, allowing for more effective mobilization and sustained results.
Dr. Dobbs is highly experienced in hydrodistention procedures, and has had successful results using this therapy to treat frozen shoulder. If you think you may have frozen shoulder, schedule an appointment with Dr. Forest to find the best treatment option for you.