…as it has more commonly been referred to in the past, is a shoulder condition characterized by pain, stiffness, reduced range of motion and disability at the shoulder. The pathology (scientific explanation of what’s actually happening) of AC is considered to be:
“fibrosis and adhesions (thickening and sticking) of the joint capsule (the fluid-filled sack which encapsulates the joint) and the surrounding ligaments, accompanied by chronic (long-lasting) inflammation”
The exact cause(s) of this condition are still unknown. There are currently thought to be two types of AC: ‘primary’ which occurs without an obvious cause, possibly due to an abnormal response from the immune system which causes inflammation and ‘secondary’, which occurs after a shoulder injury or surgery or may be associated with other conditions such as diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Though it’s now thought that in some cases AC may be reversible in the initial painful stage, this condition can last anywhere from a few months up to two years or longer, making it important that those affected realise that they may be in it (recovery) for the long haul.
Physiotherapy is one of the two main treatment options and can consist of the following:
In addition to Physiotherapy, injection therapy, involving a steroid/anaesthetic injection into the shoulder joint capsule, has been shown to be effective, particularly if administered as soon as possible after the onset of AC symptoms.
Surgery is an option in very severe and non-resolving cases but is something of a last-ditch attempt and it’s currently thought that the results provided by injection and physiotherapy are as good as if not better than those produced by invasive surgery.
Currently the most effective treatment for AC is thought to be a combination of physiotherapy and injection therapy. So if your symptoms sound anything like those described above or if you’re just worried about your “niggling” shoulder then contact me via one of the options listed on the right and lets get on the recovery road today!