How to treat frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, occurs when the connective tissue around the shoulder joint becomes swollen and rigid.

It is a painful disorder that reduces the shoulder's range of motion, the inflammation making it difficult to do daily tasks.

Dr Biren Nadkarni, a Delhi-based senior orthopaedic and joint replacement surgeon, told IANS that frozen shoulder occurs in three distinct stages: Freezing

Over six to nine months, the shoulder hurts when you try to to move it and a range of motion is lost. Frozen

This period lasts four to 12 months during which the pain may become more bearable but mobility deteriorates and stiffness develops. Thawing

Mobility improves and you may resume numerous tasks.

"Every patient has a unique experience with frozen shoulder but early appropriate intervention can reduce the severity," said Dr Nadkami Diabetes

Because uncontrolled blood sugar levels can alter collagen, a crucial protein that makes up the connective tissue, people with diabetes are more likely to develop frozen shoulder.

When sugar attaches to collagen, it becomes sticky, restricting mobility and causing the shoulder to stiffen.

When you try to work through the stickiness, you will experience mild to severe pain. In certain circumstances, moving the shoulder becomes impossible.

Other risk factors

If the shoulder is immobilised for a long time, such as when it is in a cast, the risk of getting frozen shoulder is high. Injuries such as rotator cuff tear can also cause frozen shoulder.

Women are more susceptible to frozen shoulder and those between the ages of 40 and 60 are the most likely to get it.

Prevention and treatment

Regular stretching and exercising are critical to maintaining the shoulder's range of motion.

Most patients choose non-operative therapies, such as physical therapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, while others choose steroid injections to relieve joint discomfort and enhance range of motion.

But those with diabetes should consult a doctor for treatment before opting for steroid injections, which can cause blood sugar levels to be dangerously high for up to a week.

For the most part, these measures should be effective. If symptoms do not improve, more extensive procedures such as open capsular release or arthroscopic surgery (together with physical therapy) may be considered.

Indo-Asian News Service

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