Frozen shoulder is stiffness, pain and restricted movement in your shoulder. Frozen shoulder occurs when people have suffered from a recent injury or fracture, due to overusing of limbs or due to diabetes or stroke. The tissues around the joint gradually stiffen, forming scar tissues and causing pain during shoulder movement. An x-ray is performed to diagnose the underlying cause for this sudden stiffness. Practicing stretching and gently moving your shoulders may help ease the pain.
HOW IS FROZEN SHOULDER DIAGNOSED?
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used for treating frozen shoulder.
To answer the question what is frozen shoulder? It is also known as adhesive capsulitis, and is characterized by stiffness and the inability to move the shoulder properly, because the shoulder capsule tightens or thickens. A frozen shoulder may be the result of an injury, stress on the shoulder or a disease. There may be some amount of pain due to the development of scar tissues around the shoulder joint. The onset of a frozen shoulder is quite gradual, and it takes about a year or less to heal.
Considering a few frozen shoulder causes, it generally occurs when the use of the joint is reduced because of stiffness and pain. It can occur-
• Because of injury or surgery
• Because of age (affects individuals between 40-70 years of age)
• Because of a chronic condition like diabetes or stroke
Frozen shoulder is more likely to occur in women than in men. Stiffness of the joint is a major frozen shoulder symptom. But typically the various symptoms develops in three stages-
1. Freezing stage- even the slightest movement of the shoulder can result in pain. This is the initial stage where the movement of the shoulder begins to get limited.
2. Frozen stage- While the pain generally becomes less, stiffness of the shoulder increases and it becomes impossible to move it.
3. Thawing stage- Being the last stage, motion in the shoulder returns slowly.
With similar symptoms as frozen shoulder, rotator cuff tear is also a shoulder problem which results because of injury to the tendons of the rotator cuff, which is a set of 4 muscles that supports the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff tear is very common is baseball players, tennis and badminton players.
Rotator cuff symptoms are quite similar to frozen shoulder symptoms, which include stiffness and pain. The constant pain can lead to lack of sleep, the inability to perform regular chores and can even cause some amount of weakness.
Frozen shoulder treatment as well as rotator cuff treatment is quite the same. After diagnoses of the condition the doctor may recommend certain medicines along with physical therapy. Regular physical therapy is essential for the improvement of shoulder stiffness and thus, shoulder exercises should be done with dedication.
In case of severe cases an arthroscopy, also known as frozen shoulder surgery may also be recommended. Arthroscopy is a form of minimally invasive shoulder procedure, in which the shoulder capsule is freed. This procedure proves to be considerably beneficial for most patients with frozen shoulder or rotator cuff problems.
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