5 Things You Need To Know About Frozen Shoulders

By: Chandra Lye
Having a sore or achy shoulder can be uncomfortable but when it immobilizes you and makes daily activity nearly impossible, you may have what is called Frozen Shoulder.
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  1. What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder, referred to in the medical community as adhesive copsulitis, is when movement of the shoulder joint causes pain and is hindered. This happens when the capsule of connective tissue around the shoulder joint thickens and tightens around the joint.

 

  1. What are the symptoms?

Those with this ailment will go through three stages.

  • The first stage, called the freezing phase, is the onset of frozen shoulder. It can start with an ache in the shoulder area. This happens as the joint tightens. The pain increases until it is difficult to lie down on the side with the sore shoulder. This phase can last up to nine months.
  • The second stage, the frozen phase, is when movement is too painful. The joint feels stiff and painful and it can become difficult to do daily activities like putting on clothes or carrying items. This stage can last up to a year.
  • The final stage, the thawing stage, is when the pain finally subsides and mobility is no longer restricted. Patients will notice their symptoms improve and the pain goes away. This stage can take up to a year before the condition is gone.

 

  1. What causes it?

Frozen shoulder can happen after there has been an injury to the area or from overuse. Diabetes and strokes can also bring on the symptoms.

 

Those between 40 and 70 years old are most at risk, in particularly women and those with chronic diseases. It occurs in about two per cent of the general population.

 

  1. What treatments are available?
  • Usually physicians will treat Frozen Shoulder with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Some patients may find that applying heat and stretching the area may help. Because the symptoms can last up to a year or even longer, physical therapy may also improve the condition.
  • Medications like Advil or Motrin IB can help reduce the inflammation and manage the pain.
  • For those with a particularly bad case or one that is ongoing, physicians may recommend steroid injections to the shoulder or joint distension, which is the injection of sterile water into the capsule to help stretch the tissue
  • While it is not common, surgery has been used in some cases to relieve the tight tissue around the shoulder. There are two types of surgeries that can help patients with Frozen Shoulder. The first is when the patient is put to sleep and the arm is moved around to stretch the tight tissue. The second uses an arthroscope to cut through tight tissue. These can both be done at the same time.
    Can Exercise Help?

Most cases of Frozen Shoulder can be managed with exercise and medication and usually clear up within months.

f you find the ache or soreness in your shoulder is preventing you from simple activities you should see your doctor to have it diagnosed.   

This article, and the products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please see your health care provider before taking any supplements or starting a new program.

Chandra Lye is a writer/journalist based in Vancouver, B.C.

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5 Things You Need To Know About Frozen Shoulders
Having a sore or achy shoulder can be uncomfortable but when it immobilizes you and makes daily activity nearly impossible, you may have what is called Frozen Shoulder.
By: Chandra Lye