Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a problem in which a person’s shoulder becomes stiff often. It’s actually a common problem that causes many people to experience decreased range of motion in their shoulders.
Many people mistake frozen shoulder for arthritis. While the two problems may share similar symptoms, they’re not medically related and have different causes. One of the main differences is that frozen shoulder, as the name implies, only affects the joints of the shoulder whereas arthritis can appear anywhere in the body.
Frozen shoulder, like arthritis, tends to occur more often as people get older. It is most likely to develop in people over the age of 40, and it’s more likely to strike women than men. If your shoulder has been going stiff lately and you’re wondering if you are suffering from frozen shoulder or arthritis, the following symptoms should help you make a better diagnosis. The symptoms are labeled so you can tell whether the symptoms are usually experienced before numbness sets in (Pre-Freeze) or afterwards (Post-Freeze). Once you’re more certain about which condition you have, you can go seek the proper treatment.
Symptom #1: Shoulder Pain (Pre-Freeze)
This pain tends to occur before the actual ‘frozen’ part of the condition. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, then it can be quite difficult to determine whether you have frozen shoulder or if you’ve simply overexerted yourself.
Pre-freeze pain is generally not too severe, and you can usually move your shoulder around in the early stages of frozen shoulder. The pain likely won’t be enough for you to seek treatment, but it’s important to make note of the pain if it lingers for a long time.