Stiff shoulder, also referred to as adhesive capsulitis is a common condition where the shoulder stiffens and reduces its mobility.
You will automatically stop your arm from moving to stay away from the pain. Generally, you will have a limited range of motion that gets better with time.
Frozen shoulder will occur when the tissue surrounding the shoulder joint becomes inflamed. The tissue shrinks and tightens causing the pain.
It may happen due to:
- Injury, or any prior surgery
- Diabetes but it is not clear how it diabetes related to stiffness in the shoulder joint
The aim is to relieve pain and preserve mobility in the shoulder joint. A suitable treatment option is suggested based on the severity of the condition.
- Painkillers: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as acetaminophen (tylenol and paracetamol) help reduce inflammation and pain. Opiate -based painkillers also work.
- Cold and hot compress: Alternation between the two compresses will reduce swelling and pain.
- Corticosteroid injections: Steroid hormones are injected into the shoulder joint to relieve pain. However, repeated doses are not recommended as they cause adverse side effects.
- Shoulder arthroscopy: A minimal invasive surgery where a small endoscope is inserted via an incision into the shoulder joint. It will then remove any adhesions or scar tissues.
- Shoulder manipulation: Shoulder joint is moved gently by giving the patient a general anesthetic.
- Physiotherapy: It can help you get back the shoulder movement. The number of sessions are decided based on how your shoulder responds to the treatment. Treatments include strength exercises, stretching exercises, pain relief advice and good posture advice.