Frozen Shoulder: What Is It And What Can You Do About It?

Health & Medical Blog

If one of your shoulders feels stiff and painful on a regular basis, speak to an orthopedist about frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulder is an orthopedic condition that usually affects adults over 40 years of age. The condition also affects more women than men. Here's more information about frozen shoulder and what you can do to treat it.

What's Frozen Shoulder?

When frozen shoulder occurs, you can't lift or move your shoulders freely without feeling pain and stiffness. The condition develops when the tissue that covers your shoulder joints thickens and forms adhesions, or scars, that limit or stop mobility in your shoulders. 

Although orthopedic specialists understand how frozen shoulder develops and what it does, they don't quite know why the condition develops in some individuals and not others. However, certain health conditions may make you more susceptible for frozen shoulder, including heart disease and diabetes. Treatments that prohibit movement in the shoulder joints may trigger a frozen shoulder.

For example, wearing a sling or cast on your arm for an extended period of time may prevent you from moving your shoulder and arm. You may have problems straightening the arm and moving your shoulder once a doctor removes the device. 

Being female is yet another possible risk factor for the condition. While it isn't clear as to how hormones play a role in the development of frozen shoulder, about seventy percent of frozen shoulder patients are women who experience menopause or changes in their hormones. Researchers hope to have answers about the link between menopause and frozen shoulder soon.

If have any of the risk factors above, it's a good idea that you see a bone specialist for treatment.

How Do You Treat Frozen Shoulder?

To receive the right treatment for your frozen shoulder, it's important that you tell an orthopedist about any possible risk factors you have for the condition. An orthopedist will need to know if they can treat you themselves, or if you'll need to see another health specialist as well.

For instance, certain conditions like diabetes require special treatment to manage them. Even if you receive pain medications and physical therapy, the treatments may not work well unless you also have your blood sugar under control. So, it's important to reveal as much information about your health to an orthopedist as you can.

If your stiff and painful shoulder doesn't respond to medication or physical therapy, surgery may be an option. Frozen shoulder surgery requires a doctor to remove scar tissue from the shoulder joint to increase mobility in it. A surgeon may also stretch the scar tissue to remove tension from it. If surgery becomes necessary, an orthopedist will discuss the best options for you in greater detail.


17 December 2016

pregnancy, labor and delivery - working with a midwife

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