Can you tell if you have a frozen shoulder or is it a sign of something more serious? What exactly is a frozen shoulder and are there any effective treatment options that will help me? Very common questions that get asked all the time. We have some answers for you.
How Do You Get a Frozen Shoulder?
A frozen shoulder (also called adhesive capsulitis) is a common disorder that causes pain, stiffness, and loss of normal range of motion in the shoulder. People aged between 40 – 60 years of age, women more often than men, are affected by it and if not treated the resulting disability can become serious.
A frozen shoulder usually starts out as an injury to the soft tissues like bursitis or tendinitis of the rotator cuff, however it can also be caused by a fracture. Inflammation causes pain that gets worse as you move your shoulder around and eventually limits your range of motion. People who have a shoulder injury and do not receive therapy right away can get a frozen shoulder. About 10% of people with rotator cuff injuries will develop frozen shoulder as well as certain disorders like a thyroid disorder or Parkinson’s disease.
Why the shoulder gets to a frozen state is unclear but inflammation is almost certainly involved and the fact that the shoulder has been probably been in an immobilized state for a long time. Fortunately, the shoulder can usually become unfrozen, though what type of treatment you prefer to use is a personal option. Care should be taken when choosing a specific treatment option as the side effects of certain treatments may not be worth the risk.
Typical Treatment Options for a Frozen Shoulder
There are several known treatment options that many of you may know and have tried already with varying levels of success.
- Anti-inflammatory Medicine: Most people usually start here. Popping Advil, Ibuprofen or Aleve like they are candy to try and reduce the inflammation and pain. However, if you shoulder is frozen this type of treatment will have little to no effect.
- Physical Therapy: A trained physical therapist can slowly manipulate the shoulder to gradually release the tightness and get your range of motion back. This can take several months going 3 times a week to accomplish and be quite painful to endure.
- Cortisone Injections: One or a series of cortisone injections can be administered into the shoulder joint to relieve the inflammation. The problems with cortisone injections can be quite significant and could lead to more problems that the original injury.
- Natural Anti-inflammatory Injections: An injectable analgesic like Sarapin, which has been used by physicians for pain management for over 70 years, can provide an alternative natural approach with few to no side effects.
- Surgery: Many people turn to surgery once all of the previous methods have failed. This should always be your last option as the potential complications from surgery can be significant.
Are You Sure You Have a Frozen Shoulder?
If your shoulder is immobilized then there’s a good chance you have a frozen shoulder. However, as we mentioned earlier, an initial injury to the shoulder can be the root cause of developing a frozen shoulder. Add neglect over a period of time and in you’re in a world of pain.
Medical technology has progressed so far that new and exciting treatment options are now available to treat the initial injury. These new medical breakthroughs are making it easier to treat shoulder problems by being minimally invasive and using the body’s own cells to not only treat the problem, but to repair and regenerate damaged tissue. Treatments such as:
can repair an initial shoulder injury, like a rotator cuff tear, and stop the onset of a possible shoulder problem before it gets a chance to take hold.
If you think you have a frozen shoulder or something that may develop into one, seek medical advice right away. Don’t wait around thinking it may just get better on its own, seek out the possible treatment options and save yourself a lot of pain and grief!
As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition