Frozen shoulder. When I hear that, I want to chuckle to myself, because shoulders don’t really “freeze.” Or do they?
Well, believe it or not, you shoulder can freeze and it is no chuckling matter.
Obviously, shoulders don’t freeze like my car door on a fine winter Monday morning when I am already running late for work and icicles have formed over the opening of the door and my ice scraper is trapped inside my “frozen door.”
You New Yorkers know what I am talking about! But yes, your shoulder can freeze just the same – minus the icicles – as in lock up, leaving you completely immobile and helpless to move it or use it.
Although the risk factors for frozen shoulder are drastically different from “frozen door” syndrome, the stages are eerily similar, helping my analogy. Now, I don’t encourage you to walk outside in the same weather your car door is in and think if you stand there all night you will get a frozen shoulder.
But just like your car, your shoulder begins locking up (most commonly overnight), and by the time you wake in the morning, you are completely immobile. However, unlike your car, it can take months to "thaw" out your shoulder. Wish you had a defrost button on your shoulder, don't ya?
And since I declared frozen door syndrome the official metaphor to frozen shoulder, let's break them down by ingredients so we have a better look at what leads to the "lock up." Stating the obvious, the ingredients for frozen door are car plus living in the Northeast plus below freezing temperatures minus garage to store car in = frozen door.
The ingredients for frozen shoulder can vary quite a bit, but the most common is a sudden injury or trauma to your shoulder. Pre-existing medical conditions that can offset frozen shoulder include diabetes, stroke, lung disease, connective tissue disorders and heart disease. If you have one of the above medical conditions just add your age (if you are above 40 years old) to the equation to decide whether you might be susceptible to frozen shoulder.
Of the many risk factors of frozen shoulder, accidental injury is probably the most common.