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Frozen Shoulder: Busting The Myths


Orthopaedics (Joints & Trauma)

14 October, 2021

1. What is a frozen shoulder?

Frozen shoulder, also referred to as Adhesive Capsulitis may be a condition characterized by varying degrees of pain and stiffness within the shoulder. The tissues in your shoulder get thicker and tighter resulting in connective tissue. As a result, your shoulder doesn’t have enough space to rotate freely.

2. What are the symptoms of frozen shoulder and when should one see a doctor?

A person suffering from a frozen shoulder will have severe pain and a stiff shoulder.
This may seriously interfere together with his ability to try to everyday tasks like a dress and bathe, or maybe work. Even when the pain starts to enhance, the stiffness is often quite disabling. This condition might hold you back from reaching overhead, to the side, across your chest, or from rotating your arm all the way around from front to back. This might make it impossible for you to scratch your back or placed it on your vests/bra.

3. What are the causes of frozen shoulder?

The shoulder is that the only joint that commonly freezes like this. The bones, ligaments, and tendons that structure the shoulder are encased during a capsule of animal tissue. Frozen shoulder occurs when the capsule thickens around the shoulder restricts its movement. This biological puzzle is yet to be unraveled, meaning the exact cause of the freezing remains a mystery to date.

4. Who is more in danger of developing it?

• It usually affects middle-aged people between the ages of 40-60, especially women.
• People that wear a shoulder sling for prolonged periods following trivial trauma or surgery.
• Diabetics are at higher risk with nearly 20% of them getting afflicted by it.
• Certain other medical conditions like underactive Thyroid, Stroke, and Parkinson's disease have known to cause frozen shoulder.

5. What are the treatment options?

​​​ Physiotherapy - During physical therapy for frozen shoulder, the goal is to stretch the shoulder and recover motion which takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Medications - A good orthopedic doctor in India can prescribe medications to decrease pain and reduce inflammation within the joint. A corticosteroid injection into your shoulder has shown to supply good pain relief and assist within physiotherapy.
• Surgery - If physiotherapy doesn’t work, then surgery is the only option. Surgical options are to control the shoulder and put it through a full range of motion under a general anesthetic to assist hack any adhesions. A more modern and more advanced technique is arthroscopic surgery. This sort of surgery involves making a little cut in your shoulder and employing a camera called an “arthroscopy” to get rid of connective tissue or release it. It enables the shoulder to recover its lost motion.

6. Can this condition be prevented?

If you don’t put the shoulder complex through a good range of motion on a daily basis through everyday activities and exercise, the ligaments and tendons during this area won’t receive a proper amount of blood for nourishment and removal of waste products. Over time, lack of optimal blood circulation to those ligaments and tendons can cause them to stiffen. Regular stretching of the shoulder and strengthening of the muscles around your shoulder can greatly reduce the probabilities of developing a frozen jostle later in life.

Tips to stay the frozen shoulder away:

If you're sitting for several hours each day, take frequent breaks. This might be a brief five-minute break all and half hours. Also, maintain an honest posture. The top should be up and therefore the shoulder slightly back. Invite a chair and workstation with good ergonomics. Including reliable sources of vitamin D and friendly bacteria in your diet can significantly strengthen the system and reduce the danger of developing conditions like frozen shoulder which have an autoimmune component.

7. Are there activities that folks with a frozen shoulder should avoid?

Frozen shoulder isn't a repetitive strain /overuse injury, actually as previously stated it's frequently brought on by a period of immobilization. Your treating doctor will routinely invite X-rays and Ultrasound / MRI scans to rule out other concomitant conditions like Shoulder Arthritis, structure tears within the shoulder. Provided your scans are negative, there's no restriction of activities for an individual with a frozen shoulder.

8. What happens if a frozen shoulder left untreated?

If untreated, the tissues within the shoulder can further tighten resulting in varying degrees of permanent stiffness and residual disability within the shoulder. You must visit a top orthopedic hospital in India for the treatment of your Frozen shoulder.

9. Are there any home remedies that help?

Placing ice on the shoulder for a quarter-hour at a time several times per day can help to decrease pain. Your physiotherapist will provide instructions on the kinds of exercises you want to do, how often to try them, and when to push yourself harder.

10. Is there anything you’d wish to add?

Once thought to be a self-limiting condition, frozen shoulder is becoming a chronic and difficult condition to beat with the present stress-induced urban lifestyle. Early diagnosis and timely intervention by the shoulder specialist is the only way to treat the frozen shoulder.


Consultant - Shoulder Surgery, Orthopaedics

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