Defining the most painful shoulder condition will most likely be followed by some debate as to what is truly the most irritable. Due to the varying levels of pain a patient may be experiencing, the possibilities for one condition versus another will be quite different between individuals. For example, two people suffering from a similar case of arthritis will most likely have a different experience of pain. Since orthopedic shoulder conditions can vary from acute to chronic pain, each person will have their own way of describing just how painful something really is. Generally speaking, however, there are certain conditions that are inherently more painful due to their severity – and it is the frozen shoulder that takes the crown.
What is Frozen Shoulder?
The anatomical structure of the shoulder is complex, yet sensitive. The unique range of motion the shoulder joint is capable of does not come without natural setbacks. The shoulder is easy affected by outside forces, making the possibility of negative orthopedic conditions even more present. One of the more painful scenarios that can develop in the human body is frozen shoulder. Officially referred to as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder significantly decreases the shoulder’s pain-free range of motion as the joint stiffens up.
How Does Frozen Shoulder Develop?
The exact causes of frozen shoulder are commonly debated. What is agreed upon is how the condition develops. Frozen shoulder intensifies as the capsule tightens from inflammation, scarring, thickening or shrinkage of the healthy joint.
Why is This Condition So Painful?
Frozen shoulder is one of the most painful shoulder conditions due to its persistence, long recovery and ever-growing pain. In early stages of development, pain is at its height, but slowly minimizes through each of its three phases. A total recovery can take a maximum of two years – and even though pain may subside, movement will can be restricted. Phase one is referred to as the painful freezing phase, with growing stiffness and joint limitation. Phase two is the frozen phase. Pain begins to go away, but range of motion can worsen. Phase three is the thawing phase and can last, at most, about a year. Now, the joint returns to normal function.
Frozen Shoulder Symptoms
There are many tell tale signs of frozen shoulder. If you experience one or more of the following, it’s best to seek assistance from an experienced physician. Below are some of the symptoms of frozen shoulder that you may experience during any point of the condition’s development.
- Shoulder Stiffness
- Trouble Sleeping Due to Discomfort
- Aches and Pain in Shoulder and Upper Arm
- Increasing Pain with Movement
Aside from the typical – and more common – circumstances of arthritis, tendon tears, bursitis and bone fractures, the shoulder is also susceptible to other very painful conditions. Accompanying frozen shoulder, calcific tendonitis of the shoulder or referred nerve pain from the neck may also be additional causes of severe pain.
Frozen Shoulder Treatment in Illinois
The disease process can be shortened when diagnosed soon after symptoms begin and early treatments can begin. However, brushing aside and shrugging off pain will allow the shoulder to develop a more complex issue requiring prolonged treatment. To avoid an outcome such as this, remediation is needed from a shoulder specialist. Dr. Roger Chams, M.D. is a board certified sports medicine and orthopedic surgeon who specializes in rehabilitation of the shoulder. Upon diagnosis, Dr. Chams and his staff will guide you along the path of recovery. Surgery is only necessary in severe cases, but conservative management is usually all that’s needed through exercise for frozen shoulder. Contact Dr. Chams to schedule an appointment and receive a customized treatment plan for your orthopedic condition today.