If you are an adult between the ages of 40 and 60 years old, you could suffer from a painful medical condition known as “Frozen Shoulder.” Fortunately this condition only affects an estimated two per cent of the population. But, if you’re a Diabetic, have Hyperthyroidism, have had Open Heart Surgery, have Cervical Disk Disease, or, you have had an injury or surgery on at least one of your shoulders, you are at a greater risk of suffering from Frozen Shoulder.
What Is Frozen Shoulder?
Frozen Shoulder, or “Adhesive Capsulitis” is basically an inflammation of the ligaments inside a person’s shoulder joint. The ligaments hold the bones of the shoulder in place. This inflammation restricts the movement of the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint feels “frozen” or “locked up.”
What Causes This Painful Inflammation?
The medical community actually has no idea exactly why Frozen Shoulder happens. Sometimes, Frozen Shoulder is caused by scar tissue or adhesions being formed inside the capsule of the shoulder joint. The scar tissue or adhesions can cause the capsule to thicken or shrink.
What Are the Symptoms?
There are actually three stages of Frozen Shoulder. All three stages are marked by reduction of the freedom of movement in the shoulder joint. Pain and stiffness in a person’s shoulder joint are also involved. The pain and
stiffness can range from “light” to “severe.”
Stage One– Pain and stiffness are felt in a shoulder joint. Naturally, the person tends not to use the affected arm.
Stage Two– Additional stiffness sets in because of the joint not being used.
Stage Three– Also known as the “Thawing Period”, is when the shoulder joint gradually returns to normal.
If you experience pain and stiffness, along with the inability to move your shoulder normally- or, at all- you should visit your healthcare professional. A doctor can examine your shoulder. He or she may also order blood tests and x-rays to determine whether you are suffering from Frozen Shoulder. You may also need to undergo an MRI scan.
What Are the Treatments?
Your healthcare professional may recommend Cortisone™ shots in the shoulder joint. Other anti-inflammatory drugs are also helpful in relieving the pain and stiffness. You will also need to perform physical exercises on the affected shoulder on a daily basis.
If your Frozen Shoulder is affected by scar tissue or adhesions, your healthcare professional might recommend Arthoscopic surgery. Arthoscopic surgery is used to release the inflamed ligaments. It’s also used to remove the scar tissue inside the shoulder joint. After the surgery, physical therapy is needed.
With the proper treatment, Frozen Shoulder can be resolved in about one year’s time. If proper treatment is not administered, you can actually become permanently physically disabled with this type of medical condition.
Other home treatments you can do to help reduce the pain and stiffness of Frozen Shoulder are:
1. Apply ice packs to the affected shoulder area.
2. Avoid heavy lifting or sudden movements.
3. Until you can visit your healthcare professional, taking ibuprofen or naproxen can help to relieve the pain and reduce the stiffness of Frozen Shoulder.
4. Your shoulder needs to be kept moving, despite the pain and discomfort.
Not using the affected joint will only increase the stiffness.