What is frozen shoulder?
The medical term for this condition is adhesive capulitis. It is a condition where the tissues around the shoulder joint tighten.
What are the symptoms?
1. There is a gradual onset of pain around the shoulder, which gets progressively worse. It may prevent the sufferer from being able to sleep on the affected shoulder.
2. There is also restricted movement or stiffness at the shoulder that may become severe enough to interfere with daily activities of living such as washing and dressing.
How does it occur?
1. The exact reason for the disease is unknown and many cases occur spontaneously.
2. It may occur following an injury to the shoulder.
3. Patients who have diabetes or dupuyten's disease are more susceptible to the disease.
What is the treatment for a frozen shoulder?
If left untreated the condition may resolve eventually after a period of about two years. This is not a guarantee of return to pain free normal movement.
The treatment options include:
1. Physiotherapy to reduce pain and stiffness
2. Steroid injections in the shoulder joint
3. Manipulation under anaesthesia. In the situation regional anaesthesia is used to prevent pain whilst the arm is moved to the limits of the normal range of motion. By doing this, the capsule around the shoulder joint is torn thereby allowing the shoulder to move more freely.
4. Surgical release. This may be done either as a keyhole or arthroscopic procedure where the tightened tissues are cut, again allowing the shoulder to move more freely.