Medically known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is a common condition that restricts your range of motion. It causes thickening and tightening of the tissues in your shoulder joint and leads to the development of scar tissue. As a consequence, your shoulder joint doesn’t have enough space to move and rotate.
What Are the Leading Symptoms of a Frozen Shoulder?
You become aware of this condition when your shoulder joint begins to hurt. The common symptoms include
- A dull to sharp pain
- Stiffness, especially in the morning
The pain and numbness then cause you to limit your movement. Restricted movement of the shoulder joint increases its rigidity. Over time, daily tasks that involve the shoulder joint becomes difficult such as dressing and driving.
What Causes a Frozen Shoulder?
If you have diabetes, a hormonal imbalance or a weakened immune system, you may be prone to joint inflammation and adhesions. An extended period of inactivity after surgery or due to an injury or illness also makes you more vulnerable to inflammation of the joints. In severe cases, scar tissue may form that severely restricts your range of motion.
Usually, frozen shoulder may take two to eight months to develop.
Who Is at Risk for a Frozen Shoulder?
Frozen Shoulder is more common in obese people and likely to occur in middle age. Your risk for the condition is three times greater if you have diabetes or other conditions that cause suppression of the immune system.
Others at risk include:
- People with thyroid disorders
- People who wear a shoulder sling for an extended period after A surgery or an injury
- People who remain still for long periods secondary to a recent stroke or trauma
How Is Frozen Shoulder Treated?
There are various ways to relieve shoulder joint pain and stiffness. The common ones include;
- Pain killers - Over the counter NSAID drugs such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen (paracetamol, Tylenol)
- Prescription - painkillers, such as codeine
- Flexibility - exercises and workouts
- Corticosteroid - injections such as hydrocortisone
- TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
- It controls pain by causing numbness of the nerve endings in the spinal cord
- Physical Therapy
- Shoulder manipulation