Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that makes the shoulder feel as if it’s frozen or stuck in place, making it difficult or impossible to move. It affects the shoulder joint, causing pain, stiffness, and restricted movement. This is often caused by inflammation (swelling, pain, and irritation) of the tissues surrounding the joint. The condition is most common in people over the age of 40, and it is more common in women than men. Other risk factors include diabetes or a thyroid disorder, as well as previous shoulder injuries (such as a rotator cuff tear and fractures of the shoulder blade, collarbone, or upper arm) or surgery. Dr. Saed Varis, Gurgaon’s most experienced and a top physiotherapist for frozen shoulder pain shares 5 important things that you must know when are suffering from a frozen shoulder.
An early consultation is crucial:
If you suspect a frozen shoulder, don’t self-diagnose. Rather seek medical advice. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy, exercise, or medications to alleviate your symptoms. In some cases, surgery may be necessary. Early intervention is key to a successful recovery.
It is caused by inflammation of the rotator cuff or biceps tendons. Several muscles and tendons make up the rotator cuff in the shoulder, which connects the arm bone (humerus) to the shoulder blade. A frozen shoulder can cause the affected shoulder to appear slightly lower or the arm to appear shorter.
Usually, athletes or sportspeople are more prone to developing frozen shoulders due to repetitive motions of the arm or shoulder while playing. People involved in labor-intensive jobs, such as carpentry, are also affected by this condition. Treatments include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and in extreme cases, surgery.
Causes neck pain:
The shoulder joint is closely connected to the neck through a network of nerves, blood vessels, and muscles. As the shoulder joint becomes stiff and restricted in a frozen shoulder, it can cause compensatory movements and tension in the neck muscles. This can lead to neck pain, stiffness, and even headaches. Be careful when practising yoga or any other exercise, as too deep or strenuous movements can cause neck and shoulder pain. When in doubt, always consult a doctor or physical therapist for a personalized plan.
Be aware of your sleep patterns:
People with frozen shoulders tend to experience more pain when sleeping on the affected side, so sleep on your back or on your opposite shoulder. Changing your sleeping position, using a pillow between your arm and body, or using a cervical collar can reduce the pain and stiffness associated with a frozen shoulder.
Movement of the affected arm is necessary:
Without movement, the shoulder joint may become stiff and cause a decrease in the range of motion. Movement of the arm helps to keep the joint lubricated and improve flexibility, which can help to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with a frozen shoulder. Exercises involving slow, controlled movements such as arm circles, pendulum stretch, towel stretch, etc. are generally recommended to be performed under the expert guidance of a physiotherapist.
Menopause and frozen shoulder:
Though there may not be a direct connection between menopause in women and a frozen shoulder, however, it has been observed that fluctuating hormone levels during menopause may cause a frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulder may take time to heal, sometimes as long as 3 years. However, with the right treatment, the symptoms can be managed and the healing process can be accelerated.
HOD, CK Birla Hospital (Physiotherapy), India’s Leading Physiotherapist
Dr Saed Varis is an eminent physiotherapist in India with vast experience in treating post-operative orthopaedic conditions like TKR, THR, ACLR, HTO, etc. He has vast experience treating conditions like PA shoulder (Frozen Shoulder), Bankart Lesion, Knee Pain, Bursitis, Tennis Elbow, Golfers Elbow, Wrist Pain, Ankle Pain, Ligament Injuries, and many other musculoskeletal conditions.
Gurgaon’s Top Physiotherapist Dr Saed Varis, says, because of ageing, or due to a serious injury, certain individuals might start suffering from joint issues that restrict them from performing daily activities. One of the most common among them is knee osteoarthritis, which is an outcome of old age. Other knee diseases caused due to inflammation and injury are rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis, respectively. Serious knee diseases make normal activities such as walking, sitting, climbing stairs, lifting heavy objects, or standing for a prolonged duration of time very difficult. If medicines cannot show significant improvement in the knees, then the patients are suggested to go for a total knee replacement surgery (TKR).