Frozen Shoulder Treatment
Adhesive capsulitis or Frozen shoulder is a condition which causes pain and stiffness in shoulder joint. It is a chronic condition which develops gradually, worsens over the period then resolves. This can take time of few months to 2 years.
Pain – Usually pain from frozen shoulder is dull aching pain, usually present around shoulder and upper arm. Some time pain can be noticed around shoulder blade. Pain typically aggravates with movement but pain at rest can be seen.
Stiffness – shoulder joint becomes progressively stiff and then improve over period of time. It usually begins from rotational movements but all movements are involved eventually.
Disease progresses in following stages
- Freezing or painful stage – onset of pain and stiffness occurs in this stage. Pain and stiffness worsens with time.
- Frozen or adhesive stage – Gradual improvement in pain is noted but stiffness persists
- Thawing or recovery – shoulder movements slowly improve.
Exact cause of Adhesive capsulitis is not known but is found associated with following risk factors
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Thyroid disorders
- Surgery around shoulder
- Prolonged immobilization of shoulder
- Heart disease
- Connective tissue disorders
Diagnosis is primarily clinical. MRI may be used in diagnosing thickened capsular ligaments. X ray and MRI rule out other conditions of shoulder.
- Medicines – to relieve pain
- Physical therapy – helps in improving movements
- Manipulation under anaesthesia – breaks the adhesions
- Hydrodilatation – Normal saline can be used to distend joint and improve range of motion
- Surgical release – may be needed in prolonged and severe cases. Arthroscopic release can be done.
It can take time of 6 months to 2 years for frozen shoulder to improve.
Fomentation may help temporarily in relieving pain. Ice works better than heat.
You can lie down straight. If you want to sleep on sides, prefer to sleep on normal side with pillow near chest to support.
Dull aching pain is usually present around shoulder. It usually aggravates with movement.
In some patients it can be seen affecting both shoulders. Symptoms on second side typically start in few months after first.