Frozen Shoulder Treatment – The Different Measures Available

Once the condition is diagnosed, you can choose a frozen shoulder treatment measure based on the path you want to pursue, either surgical or non surgical. After the frozen shoulder symptoms are detected, the health care provider will carry out a diagnosis and examine your shoulder.

X-rays of the shoulder will be taken to rule out other problems, such as arthritis. In some cases, an MRI exam may show inflammation, but there are no specific signs to diagnose frozen shoulder.

The Two Frozen Shoulder Treatment Options

Though frozen shoulder does resolve on its own in the due course of time, natural recovery might take longer and may not be complete. Therefore prompt frozen shoulder treatment should be carried out in order to control the pain and restore movement and strength to the region.

Frozen Shoulder Treatment: Non Surgical Treatment 

Physiotherapy and certain help in reducing pain and restoring movement in about 90% of the patients. 

Medicines: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen help decrease the pain and swelling.

Steroid Injections: Hydrocortisone injection, when given directly into the shoulder joint, helps in reducing the inflammation.

Physical Therapy: Diligent physical therapy is often essential for recovery and can include heating modalities, ultrasound, electric stimulation, gentle progressive range-of-motion exercises, stretching, ice packs, and eventually strengthening exercises.

This type of frozen shoulder treatment can take weeks or even months to work, depending on the severity of the scarring of the tissues around the shoulder. Under physical therapy, specific exercises will help restore motion, and the ones that are recommended by physiotherapists are:

  1. Lateral Rotation: Try to move your affected forearm about 90 degrees to touch the doorjamb while standing in a doorway. Now rotate your body without moving your hand. Hold this position for 30 seconds and relax. Repeat the same routine 10 times.
  2. Elevation: Lie down on your back, and elevate your affected hand with the help of other hand so that you are feeling a slight stretch. Hold this position for a few minutes and bring your hands down. Repeat this step ten times.
  3. Adduction: Stand in a relaxed posture and then, with the help of your normal hand, move your affected hand across the chest until you feel a gentle stretch. Relax and repeat this step another 10 times.
frozen shoulder treatment

Frozen shoulder treatment involves regular exercises that keep the joint flexible and active

These exercises are sure to help in bringing down the pain. 

Frozen Shoulder Treatment: Surgical Treatment

Patients with resistant frozen shoulder are normally considered for surgical treatment. In this process, the scar tissue is released by arthroscopic surgery, under anesthesia. Hydrodilation or distension arthrography is another controversial treatment measure that’s prescribed for this condition. 

Treatment with physiotherapy and NSAIDs will usually return the motion and function of the shoulder within a year. Even if left untreated, the frozen shoulder can get better naturally in 24 months.

Even if a frozen shoulder treatment measure like surgical intervention restores motion, you must continue performing the exercises to prevent recurrence.

Frozen Shoulder Symptoms – Signs You Should Look Out For

Frozen shoulder symptoms might differ, based on how far the condition has progressed. Keeping an eye out for such symptoms and opting for frozen shoulder treatment instantly helps in rooting it out during the early stages.

Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. The signs and symptoms of adhesive capsulitis begin gradually, worsen over time, and then resolve, usually within one or two years.

frozen shoulder symptoms

Frozen shoulder symptoms worsen during the night, when the pain tends to increase

Who Can Face Frozen Shoulder Symptoms?

The incidence of frozen shoulder is about 2% in the general population. It is prevalent in the age group of 40-60 years and women are more prone to this condition than men. Your risk of developing a frozen shoulder increases if you’re recovering from a medical condition or procedure that affects the mobility of your arm – such as a stroke or an open heart surgery.

Frozen Shoulder Risk Factors

In most cases, there is no particular cause for suffering from frozen shoulder. However, some of the risk factors include:

  • Cervical disk disease of the neck
  • Diabetes
  • Shoulder injury
  • Shoulder surgery
  • Open heart surgery
  • Hyperthyroidism 

Frozen Shoulder Symptoms You Should Be Aware Of

People who suffer from frozen shoulder usually experience a dull ache along the shoulder. The pain is usually centered over the outer shoulder area and sometimes along the upper arm. For some people, the pain worsens at night, sometimes even disrupting normal sleep patterns.

The pain can differ, based on the stage of the problem and how long it has been developing. The characteristic feature of this condition is an inability to move one’s shoulder, either actively or passively. Based on the stage of the condition, here are the frozen shoulder symptoms that you might face. 

  • Freezing Stage: During this stage, pain occurs even when the shoulder is slightly moved. Due to this, the shoulder’s range of motion becomes limited. The duration of this stage is about 6 weeks to 9 months.
  • Frozen Stage: The duration of this stage lasts for about 4 to 6 months. The pain experienced begins to diminish in this stage, but the shoulder remains stiff.
  • Thawing Stage: The shoulder becomes slightly usable through the course of this stage, and returns to normal towards the end. It may take about 6 months to 2 years for the shoulder to become completely normal or near-normal, and regain its earlier condition.

Once these frozen shoulder symptoms are detected in a timely manner, diagnostic and corrective measures can be chosen faster.