A frozen shoulder is characterized by pain along with stiffness that can last for months or even years. It is generally treated with exercises for the joint and pain medications.
The condition typically takes at least 1-2 years to get better. Oftentimes, it can reach up to 5 years. Nevertheless, the pain and rigidity will eventually subside.
What are the causes?
Frozen shoulder typically occurs if the tissues around the shoulder joint becomes inflamed. The tissue becomes taut and shrinks which results to pain.
Some of the usual causes why frozen shoulder develops include:
- Injury or surgery that prevents normal arm movement
In some cases, it is not clear why some individuals end up with frozen shoulder.
When to consult a doctor
There are cases in which a doctor should be consulted:
- Shoulder pain and rigidity that does not settle which is worse at night time while sleeping
- Discomfort is intense that it is difficult to move the arm and shoulder
Management of frozen shoulder
Generally, the treatment for a frozen shoulder includes the following:
- Pain relief – it is vital to avoid any movements that triggers pain. The shoulder should be moved in a gentle manner. Pain medications can be given to reduce the pain.
- For potent relief to the pain and swelling, the doctor might prescribe stronger pain medications. In some cases, steroid shots are administered into the shoulder to reduce the swelling.
- Shoulder exercises must be done once the pain has reduced. This can be done at home or with a physiotherapist.
A combination of these treatment options might be suggested. This is based on the severity of the pain and stiffness of the shoulder.
Stronger pain relief is only given for a brief period since it can trigger side effects.
- The individual should follow the suggested exercises given by the doctor or physiotherapist
- Maintain an upright posture and keep the shoulders gently back
- Keep the shoulder mobile since keeping it still will only worsen the pain
- Apply a cold or warm compress on the affected