Have you ever felt stiffness in your shoulders while doing movements such as changing clothes or lifting something, especially if you have diabetes? This feeling of rigidity, pain, and loss of mobility around the shoulder region is called ‘Adhesive Capsulitis’, commonly known as frozen shoulder.Contents:
Diabetic patients complain about jamming of the shoulder joint at some point in their lifetime. Long-standing diabetes is touted as a leading factor for this condition. It is five times more common among diabetic patients than non-diabetic patients.
It occurs in 10-30% of diabetic patients, especially among females in the age group of 40-60 years. Other predisposing conditions like injury, surgery and debilitating conditions like stroke may also cause frozen shoulders.
The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) classify this condition into three stages
It's a very painful stage marked with restricted movement of the shoulders. It lasts for a few weeks to months.
As the name suggests, the joint becomes frozen or stiff and mobility is completely lost. The pain lessens and happens only if you stretch your arm. It lasts 5-6 months, or maybe more.
The shoulder is recovering and regains mobility. The pain subsides but episodes can happen occasionally. Overall one can move his shoulder and perform all the activities which he/she is unable to do before. This lasts for months to many years.
Frozen shoulders can be cured by a combination of curative and rehabilitative therapies. Once diagnosed, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, diclofenac, etc. are prescribed to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation of the joints.
Heat fomentation can also be given to get relief from the stiffness of joints. In severe cases, corticosteroids are injected into the inflamed area of the shoulder joint.
Alternatively, physiotherapy is also given to keep the joint in motion. In severe cases, surgery is performed on the joint capsule to loosen the stiff muscles and other associated tissues like ligaments, tendons, etc., to bring back mobility.
Frozen shoulder develops gradually which means intervention should start at the beginning of initial signs and symptoms. One should start by doing mild stretching and exercising the shoulder joint daily so that mobility doesn't hamper. Exercises increase the blood flow thus reducing pain to some extent.
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