This week it seems like I’m seeing more frozen shoulders due to immobility after surgery. If someone has surgery on a shoulder and keeps it stationary too long, then scar tissue will form around the incision site as well as in the shoulder joint itself. This can cause the muscles of the shoulder to become very tight and the shoulder “locks up” so that the person can’t put their hand to their low back or raise the arm above shoulder height without extreme pain.
I find that in most cases of “Frozen Shoulder” the rotator cuff muscles located on the back of the shoulder become very tight and immobile as well. These muscles (above, on and under the shoulder blade) can be loosened using Neuromuscular Therapy, then, using a Myofascial Release technique, light stretching of the shoulder joint itself can help to decrease pain and increase mobility.
Depending on the severity of the “Frozen Shoulder”, it seems like it usually takes 3 to 5 sessions one week apart to get at least the majority of the mobility in the shoulder back. Sometimes though, with really severe cases, I’ve seen it take up to 2 months of treatments once or twice a week to achieve a return of flexibility.
The best way to avoid “Frozen Shoulder” in the first place is to begin moving the shoulder joint a day or two after surgery (if approved by your doctor), then as the days and weeks go by slowly increase the range of movement and begin strengthening stretches and exercises. If this is done then most people can avoid a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering after their surgery.