What Causes Frozen Shoulder 9 Potential Causes
Some common, and uncommon, frozen shoulder causes are listed below. But even if you dont fit the criteria described here, your shoulder can still freeze. As mentioned previously, the science behind frozen shoulder syndrome is still very much a mystery. If you think you may be suffering from this condition, talk to your doctor.
What Causes A Shoulder Fracture
The most common cause of a shoulder fracture is a fall directly onto the upper arm and shoulder. You can also break your shoulder in a collision, like an athlete may experience playing contact sports, or a motor vehicle accident. Scapula fractures are the least common of shoulder fractures because the bone is protected by the back muscles. A direct blow to the area is the most common cause of a shoulder blade fracture.
A Broken Shoulder: Scapula Fracture
Scapula fractures are not common, and can often cause severe pain. Up to 75% of all scapula fractures are due to traumatic events, such as motor vehicle or bicycle accidents.1 They can also be sustained through contact sports, such as football, or sports involving significant heights, such as rock climbing or cheerleading.
Scapula fractures make up fewer than 1% of all fractures and 3% to 5% of shoulder fracturesmost shoulder fractures affect the other two bones in the shoulder joint, the clavicle and humerus bones.2 Scapula fractures are most common in men aged 25 to 45.
Fractures can occur in different areas of the scapulaA person has two scapula bones, one on each side of the upper back, and each scapula connects to a clavicle to a humerus . A scapula is large, triangular-shaped bone divided into many parts:3
- Scapular body, the large, flat, triangle-shaped area of the scapula
- Acromion, a bony projection of the scapula located at the top-most part of the shoulder, forming a joint with the end of the clavicle
- Coracoid, a curved, hook-like projection off the front of the scapula located under the clavicle, between the shoulders ball and socket and the first rib
- Glenoid, the shoulder socket
A person with a scapular fracture typically experiences severe pain. This pain is often:
Acute pain is felt when moving the arm and at rest. The injured person may not be able to lift the arm at all.
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Would You Stop Your Daily Prescription Drugs
Your physiotherapist will prescribe your individualised dose or exercises. They are using their professional expertise to optimise your exercise dose. Would you stop taking your regular blood pressure medication because you were too busy or didnât think it worked? We would hope not!
Exercise, when prescribed by an expert such as your physiotherapist, should be treated as your recommended dose. Just like when you donât take your blood pressure medication, you canât expect the drugs to work if you donât take them as prescribed by your health professional.
So, next time you skip your âexercise doseâ, remember that you are not putting your health first. If you have any questions, please get in touch with your Physio Works physiotherapist for your best care.
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Tip #2 Remove Your Rings Asap
When you break a shoulder , or even dislocate it, you will have a lot of swelling and bruising.
So, your best bet is to take those rings off right away. Tuck them into your purse, give them to the loved one who might be with you, or even stick them deep inside your pants pocket. Just get them off your fingers.
TIP #3 How A Scarf Can Help
We walked out to the car , I got in the car . Each pothole, speed bump, traffic light, turn of a corner every movement was excruciating because it made my broken shoulder shift and move.
The best thing that happened that night was the ER nurse who bound my arm to my side after it was placed in a sling. That simple trick made the shoulder less mobile, which made the ride home far more tolerable.
I would tell you to have the person who will transport you to the ER or urgent care bring a long scarf . If you have no sling yet, you can cradle your injured arm with the opposite hand and they can gently tie the scarves around your waist and over the elbow to help stabilize the movement.
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Symptoms Of Frozen Shoulder
What are the symptoms of frozen shoulder? It is characterized by a extreme loss of motion. Raising the arm, both forwards and sideways, and turning it inwards becomes very limited and extremely painful.
Thus taking off a t-shirt and particularly putting on a coat may cause extreme pain. Reaching the bra hook behind the back is quite impossible.
It is most common in the middle years around 40 to 50 and is twice as common in women.
This condition begins with just a little irritation in the shoulder, but rapidly enters the acute phase, characterised by extreme pain, sleep disturbance and functional impairment; you can’t brush your teeth, get a cup out of the cupboard or clean the bath.
Because chiropractic addresses function, it is able to treat frozen shoulder particularly well.
This is followed by a progressive stiffening phase as the shoulder motion worsens, particularly internal rotation, and raising the arm above the head.
Extreme disability is common, with even simple everyday activities such as brushing the hair, dressing, and household work causing severe shoulder pain. This phase may last several years if not properly treated.
The final phase, if inadequately treated, often only begins after a year or two, with a mountain of frustration first to be experienced; it is the resolution or thawing phase identified by the gradual return of both motion and function.
The overall course is variable but can last 12 to 36 months.
What Are The Symptoms Of Shoulder Rotator Cuff Impingement
Commonly rotator cuff impingement has the following symptoms:
- An arc of shoulder pain approximately when your arm is at shoulder height or when your arm is overhead.
- Shoulder pain that can extend from the top of the shoulder to the elbow.
- Pain when lying on the sore shoulder.
- Shoulder pain at rest as your condition deteriorates.
- Muscle weakness or pain when attempting to reach or lift.
- Pain when putting your hand behind your back or head.
- Pain reaching for the seatbelt.
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Why A Fall Is Not Just A Fall
There are so many interesting and important questions raised by my fall that I want to share with you because I learned that a fall is not just a fall and a broken shoulder is not just a broken shoulder. Bear with me as I take you through some of my thinking.
First of all, theres the question: Why did I fall? The folks at the airport and the clinicians in the ER asked all the right questions to make sure it wasnt something that needed an urgent evaluation. Did I have chest pain, dizziness, palpitations? No. Did I trip on somethingan uneven tile or an object on the floor? No.
I am very clear about why I fell. I tripped over my own left foot. Once I explained that people lost interest in why I fell and concentrated on the result of my fallthe proximal humeral fractures. But, we will come back to the why later on because it is one of the most important questions that can be asked about a fall.
How Long Will It Take For My Broken Shoulder To Heal
Even in the case of identical injuries, its unlikely that two people will recover in the exact same way, or at the exact same rate. Due to the differences in healing rate, and different fracture injury severities, it is not always possible to plan your recovery down to an exact date.
The broken humerus recovery time, can range from 3 months to start regaining strength, to 12 months to feel fully healed. This can change with the broken humerus recovery time in elderly patients, which can be substantially longer than in a healthy adult. A broken shoulder in elderly patients can also come with further complications, which can prolong the healing time.
Undergoing a course of physiotherapy and taking the advised treatment for broken shoulder injuries seriously, can help to speed up recovery.
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Fractured Shoulder And Recovery
I have updated this post as I healed, exercised and went for physio, massage; therapies.;
Hopefully the information helps.
On my last day in Spain, I tripped over a curb and fractured my shoulder. The humerus close to the rotator cuff, and I can tell you, it wasnt very humerus at all.; ; This is a very painful experience, not just at the time of fracture, but on recovery.; Some days are better than others, and there are things I do to control the pain.
I found some helpful information both when talking to people who had gone through similar experiences and online, so will share anything that I felt helpful. Also, ask your doctor. ; If anyone knows or can suggest other helpful treatments, please share.
The most difficult challenge for me, was sleeping, trying to find a comfortable position laying in bed, where the arm is supported enough not up too high, nor down too low, where pressure is put on the shoulder.; I first started sleeping with a sling and propped up with pillows, and then as after; I removed the sling at night to give my arm a rest, it was challenging finding the right position for the arm and I found I still needed some help in being supported, either with a cushion, or towels.
There are many different stages before physio begins, much requires doing no physical tasks, and spending a lot of time in the sling, keeping the arm stable. It also requires several x rays to check on progress and treatments.
One suggestion: Sleep Sitting Up
Treatments For Shoulder Fractures
Conservative treatments are used to treat shoulder fractures, regardless of their severity. These treatments include:
- Immobilization to keep bone fragments together and in the correct anatomical position. A physician will typically recommend a sling, splint, or cast for 2 to 4 weeks. An immobilization device may be recommended for longer, depending on the location and severity of the fracture.
- Physical Therapy helps restore shoulder motion and strength. Physical therapy typically starts 2 to 3 weeks after the injury occurs.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are used to relieve mild to moderately severe pain.
Many shoulder fractures heal in approximately four months with non-surgical treatment; however, some shoulder fractures require surgery in order to heal properly. Minimally-invasive shoulder fracture repair and shoulder replacement surgery are effective options for treating severe breaks and many possible complications.
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Don’t Ignore These Injury Warning Signs
Joint pain, particularly in the knee, ankle, elbow, and wrist joints, should never be ignored. Because these joints are not covered by muscle, pain here is rarely of muscular origin. Joint pain that lasts more than 48 hours requires a professional diagnosis.
If you can elicit pain at a specific point in a bone, muscle, or joint, you may have a significant injury by pressing your finger into it. If the same spot on the other side of the body does not produce the same pain, you should probably see your health professional. ;
Nearly all sports or musculoskeletal injuries cause swelling. Swelling is usually quite obvious and can be seen, but occasionally you may feel as though something is swollen or “full” even though it looks normal. Swelling usually goes along with pain, redness and heat.
Reduced Range of Motion
If the;swelling isn’t obvious, you can usually find it by checking for a reduced range of motion in a joint. If there is significant swelling within a joint, you will lose range of motion. Compare one side of the body with the other to identify major differences. If there are any, you probably have an injury that needs attention.
What Causes Clavicle Fractures
Collar bone fractures are commonly caused by:
- A Fall: either onto the side of the shoulder or when the arm is outstretched. You dont have to fall very far to break your collarbone, it just depends on the angle of your arm and which bit you land on. I managed to break my collar bone age 5 falling out of the bottom bunk bed!
- Direct Contact: A sudden, strong blow to the collar bone can break it such as a rugby tackle
- Birth: Occasionally, babies experience shoulder fractures, particularly of the collarbone, during childbirth. This is most common when the baby is breech, where the babies bottom comes out first instead of their head
There are three types of clavicle fracture, depending on which part of the bone is broken. The most common is a type 1 fracture, where the break is located in the middle third of the bone, as this is the weakest part of the bone.
You can find out loads more information about the causes, symptoms, treatment and recovery in the;clavicle fractures;section.
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When To Seek Medical Care
- Pain with movement of the shoulder
- Swelling of the shoulder
- Bruising around the shoulder
- If shoulder pain fails to improve within 3-5 days
Significant trauma to the shoulder, chest wall, back, or neck can cause severe injuries and should be evaluated in a hospital’s emergency department.
- If you experience any of the following with an injury, call 911 for an ambulance immediately:
- Shortness of breath
What Are The Main Broken Shoulder Symptoms
The exact symptoms that you will experience with a broken shoulder depends on how serious the injury is and where in the shoulder you have sustained a fracture. Some of the most common symptoms that occur in most instances of a broken shoulder, include:
Increased pain when you move your arm. Swelling around the area. Trouble moving your arm or lifting it. Difficulty breathing. Deformity in the shoulder, or flatness.
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Why Are Shoulder Blade Fractures Rare
Shoulder blade fractures represent only 1% of all cases of broken bones. The reason for this is that the shoulder blade, or scapula, is protected by a number of other bones and muscles in the chest and back area. This means that the blunt force trauma necessary to cause a scapula bone fracture often must be rather severe.
Broken Shoulder Personal Care
At 8 weeks, getting dressed is still an issue in some respects. I still have to be careful about how I pull up my jeans or put on a shirt.
Initially, button-up shirts are the easiest and the ones less likely to cause further injury. They were all I could tolerate. If you dont have your own, borrow some from your hubby or a friend, or have someone go to Goodwill or another thrift store to purchase three or four to use while healing.
Yoga pants and sweats were a great option for me . Even pajama pants will work you dont have to be fashion conscious right now.
Flossing will be an issue . Get those pre-strung floss picks since you wont be able to manipulate floss with both hands for awhile.
Washing your hair will also be a problem in the beginning. I used dry shampoo for the first two weeks until I felt more comfortable with being able to wash my hair in the shower with just one hand .
Get a non-slip mat for the shower and have another on the floor next to the tub or shower. The last thing you need to do is slip again while your shoulder is healing. In the first few weeks, even slipping and just sitting down hard could cause the bone to dislodge.
Applying deodorant to the armpit under the fractured shoulder is another challenge. To do this, lean forward at the waist, let your affected arm hang loose so it is away from the body, then sneak the deodorant up into your armpit.
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How Is A Shoulder Blade Fracture Diagnosed
If a shoulder blade fracture is suspected, your doctor will perform a complete physical exam. They will check the position and alignment of your shoulder, and will also look for other physical injuries that may have occurred along with the shoulder fracture.
If you have severe injuries, your doctor may not be able to perform a physical exam. Whether or not a physical exam is possible, your doctor will also order imaging tests of your shoulder and chest. They may order X-rays or a CT scan to determine exactly where and how badly your shoulder blade was broken.
Could Physiotherapy Treatment For Broken Shoulder Help Me To Recover Safely
If youre having trouble figuring out how to sleep with a broken shoulder, or your mobility is limited, then physiotherapy could be a very helpful form of rehabilitation treatment for your broken shoulder. Tailored exercises can help to bring back that essential function, flexibility, and range of motion in your shoulder. If you believe that physiotherapy treatment for broken shoulder injuries may be able to help you, give us a call today to see if you could receive treatment for free.
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How Do I Prepare For Surgery
- Complete any pre-operative tests or lab work prescribed by your doctor.
- Arrange to have someone drive you home from the hospital.
- Refrain from taking aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications one week prior to surgery.
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- Refrain from eating or drinking anything after midnight the night before surgery.