Frozen shoulder is a condition where a person experiences shoulder pain and stiffness that does not go away. The pain generally worsens at night, and at times it is so bad that it makes the movement of the arm and shoulder difficult.
The causes of frozen shoulder are often not clear. It occurs when the tissue around your shoulder joint becomes inflamed. The tissue then stiffens and shrinks, which causes pain and discomfort mostly when the arm is raised. Sometimes even extra calcium deposit can cause frozen shoulder.
Other possibilities for frozen shoulder
Having incurred an injury or undergone surgery that keeps an individual from moving the arm. If you are diabetic. Surprisingly, the cause is still unclear, but people with diabetes are at high risk of frozen shoulders. Hence, it is important to get regular check-ups so that shoulder ailments can be taken care of.
The treatment of a frozen shoulder usually requires a combination of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or occasionally cortisone injection and most importantly shoulder physical therapy. Physical therapy to treat a frozen shoulder can include ultrasound, electric stimulation, range-of-motion exercises, ice packs, and later strengthening and flexibility exercises. Physical therapy can take weeks to months for recovery, depending on the damage to the tissues around the shoulder.
Without aggressive treatment, there are chances of a frozen shoulder becoming permanent. People with a frozen shoulder need to avoid injuring the shoulder tissues during physiotherapy. Avoid sudden, jerking motions or heavy lifting with the affected shoulder.
It is essential to maintain the optimal long-term function of the shoulder. Otherwise, it can worsen the condition and bring the shoulder joint to almost a standstill. Slowly and gradually try and improve the range of movement.
If discomfort persists then better ask physio or a doctor. A continued, balanced exercise regimen can help to reduce the risk of a further shoulder injury.
Exercises for frozen shoulder
As the name suggests, this involves rotation of the shoulder joint by bending arms from the elbow and placing fingers on the shoulder. Lateral observation looks like a rotation of elbows clockwise and anticlockwise.
By taking the support of a chair, lean your body in front so that your upper body almost becomes parallel to the ground. Make circles of the hand clockwise and anticlockwise.
This is like shrugging your shoulders — raising the shoulder joint along protraction and retraction. Simply, make circles of the shoulder joint, clockwise and anticlockwise by keeping the hands down (neutral).
Shoulder range mobilisation (front and sideways)
Place your hand in such a way that the arm is almost parallel to the ground (sideways). If unable to do so, then at a lesser height will also work. Now, bend your knees (squat) so that the arm is raised above your shoulder. The same should be done for front mobilisation — turn your body so that your arm is placed on the front. For a third variation, one can lean forward from the hips.
Towel assist stretches
Front raise (flexion): Hold the towel firmly and raise your arms in the anterior to your comfort level.
Shoulder extension: Hold the towel firmly and raise the arms backwards — starting behind your buttocks and raising according to your comfort level. Internal rotation: Hold the towel in one hand behind the head parallel to your spine. Then hold the other end of the towel with the other hand behind your lower back. Now, slowly pull your lower hand upwards with the help of your upper hand. Gradually increase range of movement.
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