Frozen shoulder is a common condition that can cause significant pain within the shoulder. It tends to clear up by itself over a period of time, though it may take up to a year for it to fully recover.
To speed up recovery and ease the symptoms caused by the condition, there are several things you can do. Below, we will look at what frozen shoulder is and how it can be treated.
What is frozen shoulder?
Frozen shoulder is a condition that causes a gradual loss of movement within the shoulder joint. It is mostly caused by inflammation of the tissues of the joint. When inflammation occurs, scarring begins to develop, referred to as adhesions. These adhesions can cause issues with movement of the joint.
The exact cause of frozen shoulder isn’t known. However, it can occur after the shoulder has been immobilised for long periods of time, or due to conditions such as Bursitis.
There are a lot of shoulder conditions a patient can suffer with. Therefore, you should always seek a diagnosis to ensure you are dealing with frozen shoulder and nothing more serious.
Steroid injections prove most effective in recent study
The recent study, published by JAMA Network Open in December 2020, analysed 65 studies. Over 4,000 participants were assessed to see which treatments proved the most effective. It was revealed that steroid injections were the most effective at reducing inflammation.
The treatment was shown to lead to the fastest recovery, and it helped to eliminate or significantly reduce pain. Steroid injections are often used in the treatment of frozen shoulder, but researchers suggest they should now be used as a first line of therapy. They also state that the injections should be provided alongside an at-home exercise program.
Physical therapy for releasing frozen shoulder
Physical therapy is an essential part of frozen shoulder recovery. Through specialist exercises, you will start to regain the strength and movement back within the shoulder.
First, the current movement of the shoulder will be assessed. Then, you will be provided with a range of exercises to help improve the range of movement. These include strength and stretching exercises. You will also be given posture and pain relief advice.
The number of treatments you need will depend upon a variety of factors. Your physiotherapist will tell you how long the therapy will need to continue.
Anti-inflammatory medications to treat frozen shoulder
Alongside steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medications can also be provided. These include Ibuprofen and Aspirin. Your London Shoulder Specialist may also prescribe pain medication to help with sleep and pain reduction.
Frozen shoulder can be a very painful and limiting condition. However, it will tend to clear up by itself within a year. In the meantime, treatments such as steroid injections can help in releasing frozen shoulder, reducing pain and improving movement within the joint.