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Frozen Shoulder - Causes, Symptoms, and Home remedies

Frozen Shoulder - Causes, Symptoms, and Home remedies

2023-09-13 00:00:00

Many diseases nowadays were not among the category of any diseases till a few years ago. One of these diseases is frozen shoulder (shoulder stiffness). The main reason for this is adapting an unhealthy lifestyle and modern eating habits, which leads to stiffness in the shoulder. This has been a common problem nowadays. It is so common that it is seen more in young people than in the elderly. The main reasons for this concern are poor posture and bending over, lifting heavy weights incorrectly and working on the computer for long hours, etc.


What is Shoulder Stiffness?

Frozen shoulders are an issue related to the musculoskeletal system in which there is severe pain in the shoulder joint. Apart from this, it is also known as Adhesive Capsulitis in medical language. It usually occurs in people over the age of 40. However, in today's era, due to irregular routine, it can happen to people of almost all ages. At the same time, this issue is seen more in women than in men.

The shoulder joint or the surrounding tissues swell and become stiff due to which trouble and pain start while moving the shoulder. Shoulder stiffness can affect one or both shoulders. The bones of the shoulder, ligaments and muscles, all these organs, support the head, along with maintaining normal movement. In such a situation, if there is swelling, injury or any kind of abnormality at that place, pain, or stiffness starts in the shoulder. Physiotherapy or exercise may be needed to overcome this.


Stages of Shoulder Stiffness

Frozen shoulder often develops slowly and in three phases that last for a few months. These stages are-


Painful stage (freezing)-

This stage of frozen shoulder is very painful. The pain can occur in any movement of the shoulder. At the same time, this pain gradually increases, and it becomes intense during the night. It bothers the patient for almost 3 to 9 months.


Frozen –

This is the second stage of shoulder stiffness. It is less painful than the freezing phase. But at this stage, your shoulder may feel stiff. This stage can range from 4 to 12 months.


Thawing –

This is considered the final stage of shoulder stiffness. In this, the shoulder becomes capable of doing the same work as before, but there is a possibility of pain in this stage. This stage lasts from 1 to 3 years.


Common symptoms of shoulder stiffness
  • Difficulty moving the shoulder.
  • Stiffness of the shoulder capsule.
  • Sharp pain in the shoulder.
  • Being unable to function due to strain or stiffness in the shoulder.
Causes of Shoulder Stiffness

Shoulder blade, upper arm bone and collarbone extending from the neck to the shoulder, i.e., these three bones together make up the shoulder. All of these bones are attached to a ball-shaped socket in the shoulder. This joint or socket contains the tissue that connects the adjacent bones. In addition, the synovial fluid present in the shoulder joint helps the joints to move without friction.

But due to some reason, damage occurs in these tissues, which leads to shoulder stiffness which is often associated with shoulder pain. The main cause of shoulder pain is wear and tear of the cartilage and bones.

Risk factors are-

  • Diabetes.
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
  • Hypothyroidism (low thyroid).
  • Heart disease.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Parkinson's disease.
Diagnosis of Shoulder Stiffness

To diagnose shoulder stiffness, doctors first recommend the following physical tests:


Physical examination-

In this, the doctor first conducts a physical examination to find out the issue. In this process, he does physical examination of the shoulder bone, neck, and backbone. This shows where exactly the issue is originating from.


Medical History-

A doctor can ask the patient about his medical history whether the problem ever happened before or not? If yes, what kind of medicines or treatment was given for it?


X-ray –

To check for frozen shoulders, the doctor recommends getting an X-ray done. With this, the cause of shoulder stiffness is detected.


Home Remedies for Shoulder Stiffness
Epsom salt (rock salt)-

Put a bowl of Epsom salt (rock salt) in a bathtub filled with lukewarm water. Sit in the bathtub as long as the water is warm. This provides great relief in shoulder stiffness.


Ice pack-

Ice packs help in many types of pain. Therefore, applying an ice pack on the affected part helps to relieve shoulder pain. Apart from this, ice packs also help to reduce swelling along with pain in the shoulder or any other part of the body.


Hot compress-

Compressing with warm water is considered a good remedy to get relief from any kind of pain. It also improves blood circulation. Apart from this, taking a shower with hot water also helps in shoulder pain.


Sesame oil-

Phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, and vitamin D are found in abundance in sesame oil which helps to relieve shoulder pain or stiffness. For this, massage the shoulder lightly with lukewarm sesame oil daily . This helps to reduce pain to a great extent.


Physiotherapy (exercises) for Frozen Shoulder

To reduce the stiffness or pain of the frozen shoulder, the doctor advises doing some physical exercises. Using these exercises regularly at least 3 to 4 times a day provides great relief, these exercises are as follows:

  • Shoulder Stretch.
  • Wall Crawl.
  • Pendulum.
  • Rope and pulley stretches.
Precautions and Prevention Methods of Frozen Shoulder
  • Don't ignore the pain. Consult a doctor immediately if it is persistent, or for several days.
  • If you feel severe pain, sleep with your hands at the same height as your head.
  • The period of 3 to 9 months is considered as the freezing period. Avoid physiotherapy treatment during this time.


The informative content furnished in the blog section is not intended and should never be considered a substitution for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any health concern. This blog does not guarantee that the remedies listed will treat the medical condition or act as an alternative to professional health care advice. We do not recommend using the remedies listed in these blogs as second opinions or specific treatments. If a person has any concerns related to their health, they should consult with their health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it based on the content of this blog.