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Frozen Shoulder: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Feeling a stiff shoulder accompanied by pain and inability to move your arm? Well, you might be suffering from ‘Frozen Shoulder’ that affects your shoulder joint. Also called Adhesive Capsulitis, it causes the tissues surrounding the shoulder joint, to thicken and tighten, thereby making it difficult for the arm to move. The condition is often confused with arthritis, but the two are not related. It can affect one or both of the shoulders.

The human shoulder comprises of three bones that resemble a ball and socket joint. They are your upper arm called humerus, shoulder blade called scapula, and collarbone called clavicle. These bones are held together by tissues called the shoulder capsule. When these tissues become hard, scar tissues develop over time, resulting in pain and restriction of arm movement. This is what is referred to as a frozen shoulder.

Symptoms of this condition can be easily detected. They could be:

  • Acute pain and stiffness that restrict and obstructs shoulder and arm movement
  • Dull pain in one or both shoulders
  • Pain in the shoulder muscles that wrap the top of your arm

The symptoms develop in three stages. The first stage is the freezing stage where shoulder movement causes pain and the range of movement becomes limited. As the condition advances to second stage called frozen stage, the pain may diminish, but shoulder becomes stiffer and it using it becomes more difficult.  At the last stage, called the thawing stage, the range of motion starts to go back to normal and the pain reduces to a large extent. All this can take place from a year to three years.

Causes

Hormonal imbalance, diabetes and a weakened immune system might make a person vulnerable to joint inflammation. Long period of inactivity due to an injury or illness might also make shoulder tissues prone to the condition. Frozen tissue affects adults over 40 years and is more common in women.

Treatment

Medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs or steroidal injections are normally administered to reduce the inflammation in the tissues. But these are often not beneficial in the long run and might cause side-effects. What comes to the rescue of patients suffering from this condition is the physical therapy or physiotherapy. Physiotherapy is most useful in restoring the full and unrestricted movement of shoulders. It can help to reduce the pain and stiffness and if caught early enough can prevent full onset of the condition. Various stretching and strengthening exercises can help release a frozen shoulder. Appropriate exercise programs done under the supervision of a trained physiotherapist can go a long way in relieving the patients of their pain. However, if the frozen shoulder does not respond to non-surgical treatment, then surgery to release or stretch the scar tissue is also resorted to in some cases.

Vicious Cycle Of Knee Pain And Obesity

A noted medical journal Lancet has ranked India 3rd in the row after U.S. and China for the highest number of people suffering from obesity. To note it further, Indians with this nutritional problem have got doubled in the past 10 years, according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4). Unaware of the vicious effects of obesity on overall health, we are paying very less attention to this concern. The Poor lifestyles and lack of exercise have pushed many under the reel of excessive weight, thereby developing joint disorders and knee pain. Such disorders are increasing among children and adolescents at an alarming rate these days, which calls for a serious action-plan to save the generation.

ROLE OF HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS

If you are falling in the list of people suffering from chronic knee pain, then even a pound lost through a healthy weight loss plan can ease your suffering and reduce the risk of Osteoarthritis (OA). A healthy weight loss will help fight the suffering and regain the balance in two ways:

  1. It lessens the pressure- It’s important to decrease the level of pressure on the knees to avoid the wear and tear of the knees. With every pound lost, one can lessen the load of 4 pounds on the knees.
  2. It shrinks the inflammation in the body- The habit of over-eating triggers frequent immune responses causing inflammation in the body which leads to acute knee and joint problems. A study suggests that just a 10 percent reduction in weight can significantly lower inflammation in the body, thereby lowering the risk of Osteoarthritis (OA).

PHYSIOTHERAPY AS A RESCUE

In knee pain or Osteoarthritis, the muscles around the knees become swollen and stiff, making it painful to walk or even step down from the bed. Where all other types of exercises fail, Physiotherapy comes as a rescue for the knees and joint disorders. It improves the knee function and makes it easier to walk, bend, sit, kneel or even squat. There are various passive and active treatments that keep you going, such as, Cold therapy, Heat therapy, hydrotherapy, strengthening and flexibility exercises. Many medical researchers have proved that combination of manual and supervised therapies can eliminate the need for surgery. Voila, it’s a delight to the people suffering from acute knee pain.

BEHAVIOUR MOTIVATION TO REACH GOALS

For marking a paradigm shift in our behaviours, we must first let go the fear of failure. A precise and systematic goal achieving plan will mostly work with the strong backing of a regular education and motivation. Therefore, we are here to lubricate, recover and strengthen your knees and let you live happily!