Do you guys know what frozen shoulder is? How do you treat or manage it? Am I at risk? These are just some questions that we will attempt to answer in this article. More importantly though, what is the best way to prevent it? As some of us may or may not know, this condition is extremely painful and we don’t want that, don’t we? The condition is also known as adhesive capsulitis and it causes stiffness too. It most commonly affects people between the ages of 40 and 60, and occurs in women more often than men. Let’s find out more here:
Frozen Shoulder Explained
Your shoulder is a joint made up of three bones: your upper arm bone, your shoulder blade, and your collarbone. The head of the upper arm bone fits into a shallow socket in your shoulder blade. Strong connective tissue, called the shoulder capsule, surrounds the joint. To help your shoulder move more easily, synovial fluid lubricates the shoulder capsule and the joint. In frozen shoulder, the shoulder capsule thickens and becomes tight. Afterwards, stiff bands of tissue can also develop. In many cases, there is less synovial fluid in the joint too.
Signs and Symptoms
Pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion of the affected should are three symptoms that predominate. The pain is usually described by patients as dull or aching. It is typically worse early in the course of the disease and when you move your arm. The pain is usually located over the outer shoulder area and sometimes the upper arm.
What Causes It?
The causes of frozen shoulder are not fully understood. However, it can develop when you stop using the joint normally because of pain or injury. It may also be caused by a chronic health condition, such as diabetes, stroke, or chronic immobilization. Any shoulder problem can lead to frozen shoulder if you do not work to keep full range of motion.
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. Other non-surgical options include the use of non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs and steroid injections. The former includes ibuprofen and aspirin while cortisone belongs to the latter group. The surgical goal of treating frozen shoulder is to stretch and release the stiffened joint capsule. The most common methods include manipulation under anesthesia and shoulder arthroscopy.