The exact cause of Frozen Shoulder is often unknown. However, several factors may contribute to its development.
Immobilizing the shoulder joint for extended periods due to various factors, such as shoulder injuries, fractures, surgeries, or prolonged immobilization due to wearing a sling or cast. Trauma or injury to the shoulder, such
as a fall, dislocation, or rotator cuff tear, can lead to inflammation and subsequent development of adhesive capsulitis.
Systemic Conditions like diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid
arthritis etc can predispose to Frozen Shoulder. Hormonal Imbalances particularly in women during menopause might also cause Frozen Shoulder. Genetic Predisposition might cause Frozen Shoulder. Other Factors like advanced age, prolonged immobilization or lack of shoulder movement due to other health conditions, and certain occupations or activities that involve repetitive overhead movements or strain on the shoulder joint.
Frozen Shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that affects the shoulder joint, causing pain and stiffness. It occurs when the tissues around the shoulder joint become thick, stiff, and inflamed, leading to a limited range of motion and difficulty in performing everyday activities.
The primary symptoms of Frozen Shoulder include pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. The condition typically
progresses through three stages: freezing, frozen, and thawing. During the freezing stage, shoulder pain gradually increases, and the range of motion decreases. In the frozen stage, the pain may lessen, but the shoulder remains stiff. Finally, during the thawing stage, the range of motion slowly improves.
A Pain physician can diagnose Frozen Shoulder through a physical examination and by evaluating the patient’s medical history. X-rays or other imaging tests may be done to rule out other potential causes of shoulder pain and stiffness.
The goal of treatment for Frozen Shoulder is to alleviate pain and restore shoulder movement. It usually involves a combination of non-surgical interventions. Here are some common approaches used in pain clinics for the treatment of Frozen Shoulder:
- MEDICATIONS: Pain clinics may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- CORTICOSTEROID INJECTIONS: Corticosteroid injections can be administered directly into the shoulder joint to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
- PHYSICAL THERAPY: Physical therapy is an essential component of Frozen Shoulder treatment. Pain
clinics may have physical therapists who specialize in shoulder rehabilitation. They can guide you through specific exercises and stretching techniques to help improve range of motion and reduce pain.
- MANUAL THERAPY: Pain clinics may offer manual therapy techniques performed by trained therapists. These techniques, such as joint mobilization and manipulation, can help loosen the stiff shoulder joint, improve
mobility, and reduce pain.
- HEAT AND COLD THERAPY: Applying heat or cold to the shoulder can provide temporary pain relief and
help reduce inflammation. Pain clinics may use techniques such as hot packs or cold packs to manage pain and promote healing.
- TRANSCUTANEOUS ELECTRICAL NERVE STIMULATION (TENS): TENS therapy involves the use of low voltage electrical currents to stimulate nerves and provide pain relief. It may be used in pain clinics as an adjunct therapy for managing Frozen Shoulder pain.
- HYDRODISSECTION : It involves the injection of fluid, such as sterile saline or a local anaesthetic, into
the area around the shoulder joint to separate and release adhesions or scar tissue that may be contributing to the stiffness and limited range of motion. It’s performed under ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance to ensure precise needle placement and accurate delivery of the fluid.
- RECOVERY: Frozen Shoulder can take several months to years to resolve completely. Physical therapy exercises and diligent stretching are essential to regain range of motion and strength in the shoulder. It’s
important to consult with a Pain specialist, if you suspect you have Frozen Shoulder. They can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific situation.
Dr Shovan Kumar Rath, an eminent pain specialist of Bhubaneswar is rendering such services at Health Village Hospital, under the banner of Pain free Odisha, Odisha’s 1st interventional Pain Clinic