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Frozen shoulder home remedies, 3 exercises to lessen the pain

A frozen shoulder commonly affects people between 40 and 60 years of age. People with diabetes may become immobile during recovery, causing the shoulder capsule to stiffen.

fitness Updated: Jul 25, 2018 11:05 IST
Kabir Bhandari
Kabir Bhandari
Hindustan Times, Delhi
Frozen shoulder,Frozen shoulder diagnosis,Frozen shoulder treatment
The most common cause for frozen having a shoulder is underuse of the shoulder.(Shutterstock)

If you’ve been experiencing pain and stiffness in your shoulder, finding it extremely difficult to move it, there are high chances that you’re suffering from a frozen shoulder. As this pain worsens at night, it may make sleeping difficult for the individual.

“Frozen shoulder is a common condition where a person’s shoulder becomes stiff, leading to reduced mobility. This condition occurs when a scar tissue forms in the shoulder, causing the shoulder joint’s capsule to thicken and tighten. This leaves less room for movement, making it ache and go stiff,” explains Dr Sunil Sahi, an orthopedic surgeon based in New Delhi.

“The most common cause for this condition is underuse of the shoulder. Other causes include an injury or fracture and diabetes (though the reason is not clear). Stroke, hyper- or hypothyroidism, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease can also lead to a frozen shoulder,” says Dr Sahi.

If inflammation occurs, a frozen shoulder may take months to subside. But the mainstay of the treatment is exercise.

An ice pack can also provide some relief from a frozen shoulder. (Shutterstock)

A frozen shoulder commonly affects people between 40 and 60 years of age. People with diabetes may become immobile during recovery, causing the shoulder capsule to stiffen. You can try using a hot compress or heating pad for 15 minutes and repeat the process many times in a day.

An ice pack can also provide some relief. Delhi-based Shruti Bangera, who is senior SME- physiotherapy for the home-based medical app Portea, suggests three home-based remedial exercises for a frozen shoulder:

Towel stretch

1) Hold one end of a three-foot-long towel behind your back and grab the opposite end with your other hand.

2) Hold the towel in a horizontal position.

3) Use your good arm to pull the affected arm upward to stretch it.

Cross-body reach

1) Sit or stand.

2) Use your good arm to lift your affected arm at the elbow and bring it up and across your body, exerting gentle pressure to stretch the shoulder.

3) Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds.

Armpit stretch

1) Using your good arm, lift the affected arm onto a shelf about breast-high. Gently bend your knees, opening up the armpit.

2) Deepen your knee bend slightly, gently stretching the armpit, and then straighten.

3) With each knee bend, stretch a little further, but don’t force it.

Make sure that you do only light stretches so as to not strain the shoulder further. If the pain persists or increases, consult a doctor immediately.

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First Published: Jul 25, 2018 08:44 IST