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Frozen Shoulder

About Frozen Shoulder

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is a common condition in which the shoulder stiffens, reducing its mobility.

Frozen shoulder is not arthritis, although it can accompany arthritis.

Affects 40 to 60 years of age. It is often termed as ‘50-year shoulder’ (Chinese translation).

It is more commonly seen in women than in men.

The cause is usually due to:
a) tendinitis, from overuse
b) injury causing a tear
c) unknown

Symptoms

• Usually a sharp, aching pain, typically associated with movement.
• Limited movement of the shoulder (either backwards or upwards)
• Pain when trying to sleep on the affected shoulder
• Difficulty with activities, such as brushing hair, putting on shirts/bras.

3 Stages of Frozen shoulder

Stage 1- Freezing
The shoulder becomes stiff and then very painful with movement, especially at night.

Stage 2- Frozen
The shoulder becomes INCREASINGLY STIFF, severely limiting the range of motion.

Stage 3- Thawing
Movement in the shoulder begins to improve.
Pain may fade but occasionally recur.

DOCTOR’S TREATMENT

Medication Therapy
• Anti-inflammatory painkillers reduce the
inflammation within the shoulder,
encouraging movement and mobility.
• Anti-neuropathic agents are nerve stabilizers
reducing nerve sensitivity and stopping
painful nerves.


Injection Therapy
• Myofascial injections target at the painful
tendons/ muscles of frozen shoulder. When
injected into the affected areas, it relieves
pain and reduces inflammation.

PATIENT’S RESPONSIBILITIES


• Exercise and stretching
• Physiotherapy
• Swimming
• Heat therapy

Post injection therapy 

About 4 weeks after injections, improvement becomes obvious.
Post injection, anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, and nerve stabilizers are
prescribed until optimal results are obtained.
Results are seen usually 1 to 3 weeks after treatment.
Optimal outcomes need to be coupled with exercises such as swimming.