frozen shoulder treatment

Frozen Shoulder: Understanding and Care

About Frozen ShoulderFrozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that leads to pain and stiffness of the shoulder. Signs and symptoms begin gradually, worsen over time and then resolve, usually within one or two years. You will typically experience shoulder pain, followed by increasing stiffness. The stiffness may affect your ability to carry out everyday activities and, sometimes, you may not be able to move your shoulder at all.
1 Painful Stage
2 Frozen Stage
3 Thawing Stage

How does Frozen Shoulder progress?

Painful stage: During this stage, pain occurs with any movement of your shoulder, and your shoulder’s range of motion starts to become limited. This stage lasts for 3 to
9 months.
Frozen stage: Pain may begin to diminish during this stage. However, your shoulder becomes stiffer, and your range of motion decreases notably. This stages lasts from 4 to 12 months.
Thawing stage: During the thawing stage, the range of motion in your shoulder begins to improve with recovery. It may take anywhere from 12 to 42 months.

Frozen shoulder typically develops slowly, and in three stages. Each of these stages can last a number of months.

What are the Causes and Risk Factors?

Prolonged immobilization of the shoulder, such as after surgery (mastectomy) or an arm fracture. Usually affects woman above the age of 40 years. People who have certain medical problems appear to be predisposed to develop frozen shoulder.
Examples include:

  • Diabetes
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Parkinson’s disease

TIPS to Ease Your Symptoms

1. Use a hot pack on your shoulder for 10 to 15 minutes several times each day. Place a thin towel between your skin and the hot pack to prevent a burn.
2. Move your arm often, every hour if possible.
3. Use medication as prescribed by your doctor.
4. Sleeping Comfortably : If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your involved arm and allow your hand to rest on your stomach. If you sleep on your side, sleep on the uninvolved side hugging a pillow across your chest.
5. Sitting Positions : Sit with good posture. Avoid slumping and slouching. Try to keep your shoulders back and down away from your ears.

Why is Physiotherapy Required?  Self diagnose frozen shoulder

This condition though self limiting, leads to decreased movement at the shoulder joint. Even though pain may reduce to negligible
after a particular time, stiffness and range will continue to remain affected. If you’ve had an injury that makes it difficult to move your
shoulder, talk to your doctor about it.

TIPS to Ease Your Symptoms

1. Use a hot pack on your shoulder for 10 to 15 minutes several times each day. Place a thin towel between your skin and the hot pack to prevent a burn.
2. Move your arm often, every hour if possible.
3. Use medication as prescribed by your doctor.
4. Sleeping Comfortably : If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your involved arm and allow your hand to rest on your stomach. If you sleep on your side, sleep on the uninvolved side hugging a pillow across your chest.
5. Sitting Positions : Sit with good posture. Avoid slumping and slouching. Try to keep your shoulders back and down away from your ears.
A visit to your physical therapist may be beneficial to help you regain normal functional use of your arm. Your Physiotherapist can help you manage the pain and provide you with strategies to help you start using your arm normally again.

Do’s

  • Continue to move your shoulder else it will progress to the next stage of stiffness.
  • Use hot pack before exercise for improving movement, relaxation and reduction in pain.
  • Continue to use the shoulder for more functional activities like combing hair, reaching out for over head objects etc.
  • Keep your diabetes under control.
  • Take your pain medications on time.

Don’ts

  • Avoid vigorous shoulder movements.
  • Avoid wearing an arm sling to promote arm movement even if it keeps your arm in a pain-free zone,

This article is purely for general information. Please contact your healthcare expert for specialised medical care. Please go through our Disclaimer and Privacy policy.

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