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Adhesive capsulitis is the medical term for a frozen shoulder, which can be caused due to a variety of reasons. Scar tissues can grow in the shoulder joint when the said joint becomes thicker. This development keeps the shoulder from rotating in a normal manner, which can lead to a frozen shoulder. The most common symptoms of this condition include severe pain and stiffness as well as inflammation. Here are the causes and ways to treat this condition.
Causes: A frozen shoulder can be caused due to a sports injury as well as an accident. Also, a hormonal imbalance can cause this condition. A weak immune system may cause inflammation in various joints of the body, which makes motion difficult. Also, diabetes can give rise to a frozen shoulder as a side effect. If you have a sedentary lifestyle and do not exercise often enough, or have just been through surgery which has led to a prolonged period of inactivity, then you can be prone to this condition. Surgery will also leave your tissue and adhesions sensitive to inflammation. Scar tissue may end up forming in very extreme cases, over a period of at least nine months. This can limit your motion.
Risk Factors: Besides diabetes, hormonal changes and inactivity, people who have been through a stroke or surgery are most susceptible to this condition. Also, patients who are suffering from thyroid disorders can end up developing a frozen shoulder too.
Physical Therapy: One of the most recommended ways to deal with this condition is with physical therapy. This kind of therapy will help you in stretching your shoulder so that you get back some motion over a period of time. This process can take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months, depending on the severity of your condition. You must ask your doctor about other treatment options if this kind of therapy does not show results even after six months of intense and regular practice. Physical therapy can also be practiced at home, once you have learnt the technique from a physiotherapist.
Medication: One of the other ways to deal with a frozen shoulder is with the help of medication. Anti-inflammatory and pain relieving medicines can soothe the discomfort. These include aspirin, ibuprofen, as well as naproxen sodium. Also, if you are undergoing a lot of pain, the doctor can administer a steroid injection in the shoulder joint.
Surgery: If medication and physical therapy do not help in treating the condition effectively, then one can go in for an arthroscopic surgery to remove the scar tissue with a small incision and other kinds of surgery for breaking the adhesions as well.
Back pain often strikes when something's amiss with the delicate column of bones, muscles, ligaments and joints that holds you up. But many other conditions, like strains, arthritis, hairline spine fractures and even kidney infections, can cause your back to throb.
What you can do
Ice first, heat later. As a pain reliever, ice works great. It temporarily blocks pain signals and helps reduce swelling. Several times a day, lay an ice pack wrapped in a towel on the painful area for up to 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can use a bag of frozen peas or corn. During the first few days of home treatment, apply the ice pack as frequently as necessary. Later you may still want to use ice after exercise or physical activities. After about 48 hours, switch to moist heat to stimulate blood flow and reduce painful spasms. Dip a towel in very warm water, wring it out, then flatten and fold it. Lie on your stomach with pillows under your hips and ankles. Place the towel across the painful area, cover the towel with plastic wrap, then put a heating pad - set on medium - atop the plastic. Leave it on for up to 20 minutes. You can repeat this three or four times a day for several days.
Perfect your posture. Look for the posture that places the least stress on your back. To do it, stand straight with your weight evenly balanced on both feet. Tilt your pelvis forward, then back, exaggerating the movement. Then settle into the position that feels most comfortable. Now 'work your way up' your back, focusing on one area at a time. First concentrate on the area near your waist, then your chest area, and finally your neck and shoulders. Try to feel which position is least stressful and most comfortable. This is the position to maintain when you're standing, walking, and beginning or ending any exercise.
Rub in some relief. Ask a partner to massage the aching area. If you want to use a 'back rub' cream or ointment, go ahead, but use caution, as most topical creams produce skin irritation after a few applications. For a simple back massage aid, stuff several tennis balls into a long sock, tie the end of the sock, and have your partner roll it over your back.
A natural boost
Pick a pepper product. Your drugstore carries liniments that contain capsaicin, the heat-producing substance in hot peppers. Applied to your skin, capsaicin depletes nerve endings of a neurochemical called substance P. Researchers have found that substance P is essential for transmitting pain sensations to the brain, so when there's less substance P in circulation, the pain meter is turned down a bit. Look for a cream or ointment containing 0.075% or 0.025% capsaicin. And be patient: You may have to use it for several weeks to feel the full effect. Stop using it if you begin to feel any skin irritation.
Three or four times a day, take 500 milligrams of bromelain. Derived from pineapples, this enzyme promotes circulation, reduces swelling, and helps your body reabsorb the by-products of inflammation. Look for a strength between 1,200 and 2,400 MCU (milk clotting units) or 720 and 1,440 GDU (gelatin dissolving units). Wait for at least an hour after each meal before taking the bromelain, or it will work mainly in your gut instead of your muscles.