Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Stiff Shoulder Overview

Another name for Stiff Shoulder is Shoulder Stiffness.

What is shoulder stiffness?
A person with shoulder stiffness has decreased range of motion in the shoulder and usually has discomfort when moving the shoulder. The most common causes of shoulder stiffness are arthritis, shoulder injury, shoulder sprain, and shoulder tendinitis. Additional causes of shoulder stiffness include rotator cuff tendinitis and adhesive capsulitis.

What are the symptoms of shoulder stiffness?
Symptoms that occur with shoulder stiffness include shoulder swelling, bruising, shoulder pain, or tenderness of the shoulder. Additional symptoms may include arm swelling, arm weakness, arm numbness, or a deformed shoulder.

How does the doctor treat shoulder stiffness?
Treatment for shoulder stiffness depends on the underlying cause. Treatment may include rest, a sling, cold compresses, physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, or narcotic pain medications. Additional treatment for severe shoulder stiffness may include corticosteroid medication injections, physical therapy, or surgery.

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