8 Ways to Fix Frozen Shoulder
What is Frozen Shoulder?
About 2% of the general population suffers with Frozen Shoulder symptoms but as to what causes this painful condition, no one really knows. The general school of thought is that the ball and socket joint of the shoulder has received some form of trauma or injury that triggers off the condition.
Frozen Shoulder, or Adhesive Capsulitis, is a disorder that affects the tissue surrounding the glenohumeral joint. It results in loss of movement accompanied by intense pain. Patients often find
that as the condition progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to raise their arm and simple tasks like getting dressed, driving, working and sleeping are all severely affected.
The inflammation around the shoulder joint causes scar tissue to be formed which in turn limits movement further.
Frozen Shoulder is reported by The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons to also affect 10% – 20% of people with diabetes. Again the reason seems a little unclear but as diabetes can damage blood vessels and restrict blood supplies this may be why diabetic patients develop frozen shoulder so much more frequently than non-diabetics.
8 Ways to Treat Frozen Shoulder
- Movement is key to the treatment of this condition. Whilst painful, it is important not to keep the shoulder totally immobile.
- Painkillers can be prescribed by your Doctor to help relieve the inflammation but your pharmacist may also have some non-prescription alternatives.
- Corticosteroid injections can help to relieve severe symptoms. Whilst these are immensely useful in treating frozen shoulder, they will not cure it and only a limited number of injections will be available. Too many and further damage may occur to your shoulder.
- Your Physical Therapist and Massage Therapist will be of most help. They will be able to assist with shoulder exercises and gentle manipulation to ease the pain and restore function.
- TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is also a very effective form of pain relief for a frozen shoulder. The obvious benefits are that this is a non-invasive drug free therapy.
- Acupuncture has also been used in clinical studies with patients with frozen shoulder. It has been shown to be an effective alternative therapy to help reduce pain and it may be of use in treating the symptoms of frozen shoulder.
- Hydrodilatation is the manipulation of a frozen shoulder whilst the patient is under general anaesthetic. Doctors are then able to move the shoulder and break up the adhesions and scar tissue. A course of physiotherapy will be needed afterwards but generally patients make an excellent recovery after this treatment.
- If other treatments have not restored movement to the shoulder then surgery may be an option. An arthroscopic capsular release is a keyhole operation that allows the surgeon to open up the frozen shoulder and remove any bands of scar tissue that have formed. Again, a course of physiotherapy will be required afterwards to fully restore the full range of movement to the shoulder ball and socket joint.
Our video detailing the shoulder joint is just one of our collection of anatomy presentations available on YouTube – Subscribe to our American 3B Scientific YouTube channel here