Frozen Shoulder: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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Frozen Shoulder also known as “Adhesive Capsulitis” is a condition that makes your shoulder stiff and causes pain in moving shoulder in different directions. This causes a reduction in the range of movement of the shoulder in all directions.

Causes of Frozen Shoulder:

The reason why Frozen Shoulder is developed isn’t clear until now, but there are a few factors that lead to the development of the problem.

Many surveys have found that Diabetic Patients are more prone to Frozen Shoulder. The reason still is unknown. Also, a diabetic patient suffers for a longer duration of stiffness and pain than the normal individual.

Frozen Shoulders can also be developed as a result of surgery (Like Fracture) when the shoulder is immobilized. Patients are generally advised to do shoulder movements and exercises to prevent from Frozen Shoulder.

Patients recovering from Strokes or any other disease with invasive surgery are also at high odds of this disease.

Patients suffering from medical issues like Cardiac Problem, Hypo or Hyper Thyroid, and Parkinson’s Disease can also be associated with the odds of Frozen Shoulder.

Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder:

The major symptoms of Frozen Shoulder are stiffness, painful shoulder movement. The range of shoulder movement gets limited and it aches when the patient tries to move. The pain can get too worse and may affect the regular activities of the patient. The pain increases during the night and it becomes uncomfortable to sleep.

In Frozen Shoulder, the tissues of the shoulder become thick and stiff. You will feel pain on the upper joint of your arm with the shoulder. The “Adhesions”- thick tissue bands develop on the wraps of your arm at the shoulder. Mostly it is due to the deficiency of Synovial fluid in joint.

Frozen Shoulder can be seen in 3 major stages:

  1. Freezing Stage: The first stage of the problem rises when the movement of the shoulder in all directions becomes painful and the shoulder feels like getting locked up. The freezing stage lasts for around 6 weeks and might also take 9 months.
  • Frozen Stage: The second stage where the shoulder becomes stiffer than before. The pain might reduce but it still is even more difficult to move the shoulder. The 4 to 6 months duration of Frozen stage makes it difficult for the patient to do any regular activity.
  • Thawing Stage: This is the last stage in which the range of shoulder movement gradually improves. The Thawing Stage lasts for around six months to two years for the shoulder to reach its normal strength and attain regular motion.

What is the treatment of a frozen shoulder?

The treatment of Frozen Shoulder may last for even 2 to 3 years. The Treatment involves medications and physical therapy sessions as well. The major focus is paid to the reduction of pain and improvement of shoulder motion with time. Without proper treatment, the situation can get worse and can also get permanent.

Frozen shoulder generally gets better over time, although it may take up to 3 years. The focus of treatment is to control pain and restore motion and strength through physical therapy.

Also Read, How to check the Authenticity of Medicines

Non-Surgical Treatment:

Physical Therapy:  Physical exercises can be the best cure to restore shoulder motion. You may undergo exercising in the supervision of a Physiotherapist or can also do at your home. Some warm-up sessions to heat the shoulder muscles are done followed by specific stretching exercises. Some of the exercises can be Forward flexion, Crossover arm stretch, and External rotation.

An individual can also trust non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin to relax from pain.

Steroid injections with anti-inflammatory medicines can also be taken.

Surgical Treatment:

If the symptoms do not seem to improve by non-surgical methods, your doctor may advise going for Surgery.

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