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How to identify if your shoulder pain is in fact a "frozen shoulder" without having to leave your home...

  • Do you have shoulder pain while putting on your shirt?
  • Does your shoulder pain increase when trying to reach behind your back?
  • Do you have shoulder pain when you are trying to brush your teeth or hair?
  • Do you want to know exactly what is causing your shoulder pain?
  • If you answered yes to the above questions then you do not want to stop reading?

Shoulder pain can completely ruin your life, especially if it comes on with daily activities like putting on your shirt, brushing your teeth, brushing your hair, or even things like reaching behind your back for your wallet...

It can be really frustrating and if not handled within the appropriate time can lead to what many people diagnose as a "frozen shoulder"

So what exactly is frozen shoulder?  Well Frozen shoulder is a condition of the shoulder in which the shoulder is limited in a certain pattern.  There are certain areas of tenderness noted when pressure is added but for today I want to focus on the limitations this condition has on the shoulder...

From our experience in the clinic we have found that this particular condition or diagnoses most always has a specific limitation pattern.  Basically certain specific motions of the shoulder are more limited than others.  As physical therapist it is our job to identify these limitations so we can affectively treat the cause of your pain.

If in fact you have these specific limitations then most likely you are suffering from a "frozen shoulder"

When this happens the cause of your pain is that the bone structure that has to move for your arm to go above your head is being limited by the outer layer that keeps it in place...

In order to illustrate this go ahead and make a fist with your right hand.  Then cup or cover your right fist with your left hand.  Imagine that your left hand is the capsule of your shoulder.  If that capsule is stuck or "frozen" then the right hand cannot slide and glide.  This is how the shoulder functions.  In this example the right hand is the arm moving up and down and the left hand is the capsule of the shoulder.  Frozen shoulder means that the capsule is the cause of the problem which is causing you pain.

So now that you understand what frozen shoulder is I want to show you how you can identify it without having to leave your home...

Like mentioned above we as physical therapists are looking for particular patterns of motions that you CANNOT perform...

  1. Try to lift your hand above your head like if you are trying to reach as high as you can
  2. Try to reach behind your head
  3. Try to reach behind  your back

If reaching behind your head or back brings on the most pain and you cannot lift your hand up in the air above eye level then there is a high chance you may be suffering from a "frozen shoulder" and should take action to handle it immediately.

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