What is it?
How Can It Be Relieved?
So, what is a Frozen shoulder, what are the main causes and how can the problem be alleviated?
The very thought of a Frozen shoulder conjures up pain and discomfort, yet the sufferer will attest that there’s no imagining in the symptoms such a complaint inflicts on him/her.
What it is:
Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is stiffness, pain, and limited range of movement in your shoulder
Causes of Frozen Shoulder:
It may happen after an injury or overuse or from a disease such as diabetes or a stroke. The tissues around the joint stiffen, scar tissue forms, and shoulder movements become difficult and painful. Keeping the shoulder immobile following injury can be a major cause of Frozen shoulder. It, in essence, freezes up through lack of movement.
Signs and Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder.
The most pervasive sign or symptom of frozen shoulder is a persistently painful and stiff shoulder joint.
Signs and symptoms of frozen shoulder develop gradually; usually in three stages in which signs and symptoms worsen gradually and resolve within a two – year period.
There are three stages of frozen shoulder:
- Painful stage – the shoulder becomes stiff and then very painful with movement. Movement becomes limited. Pain typically worsens at night.
- Frozen/adhesive stage – the shoulder becomes increasingly stiff, severely limiting range of motion. Pain may not diminish, but it does not usually worsen.
- Thawing stage – movement in the shoulder begins to improve. Pain may fade, but occasionally recur.
How can Frozen Shoulder be alleviated?
Treatment options for frozen shoulder include:
- Painkillers – relieve symptoms of pain.
- Exercise – frequent, gentle exercise can prevent and even reverse stiffness in the shoulder.
- Hot or cold compression packs – help to reduce pain and swelling. It is often helpful to alternate between the two.
- Corticosteroid injections – a type of steroid hormone that reduces pain and swelling. Corticosteroids may be injected into the shoulder joint to alleviate pain, especially in the ‘painful stage’ of symptoms. However, repeated corticosteroid injections are discouraged as they could cause damage to the shoulder.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) – numbs the nerve endings in the spinal cord that control pain and sends small pulses of electricity from the TENS machine to electrodes (small electric pads) that are applied to the skin on the affected shoulder.
- Physical therapy – can teach you exercises to maintain as much mobility and flexibility as possible without straining the shoulder or causing too much pain.
- Shoulder manipulation – the shoulder joint is gently moved while you are under a general anaesthetic
- Shoulder arthroscopy – a minimally invasive type of surgery used in a small percentage of cases. A small endoscope (tube) is inserted through a small incision into the shoulder joint to remove any scar tissue or adhesions.
Whilst the above medical interventions have varying ranges of success, there is no substitute for a natural, holistic treatment of the issue in order to bring about lasting effects.
This is where Bowen Therapy comes into its own.
Call us today at Happy Valley Bowen Therapy on 0478 846 836