What to do when you have a frozen shoulder?
- If you are suffering from a frozen shoulder, it is important to be patient during your recovery process and it's best to avoid activities that may strain your shoulder.
A frozen shoulder can be very painful, uncomfortable and restrictive, and it's best to address this health issue before it worsens and affects your mobility permanently.
Commonly seen in people recovering from a fracture or a surgery and even in diabetes, thyroid, heart, and tuberculosis patients, a frozen shoulder can cause you unbearable pain, stiffness and reduced range of motion in the shoulder as the joint gets stuck.
If you are suffering from a frozen shoulder, it is important to be patient during your recovery process and it's best to avoid activities that may strain your shoulder. It is advised to do gentle exercises and medication suggested by your doctor. In most of the cases, your frozen shoulder would be healed without the need of surgery in few months, say expert.
"Management of frozen shoulder focuses on relieving pain and restoring motion. A combination of oral pain medication and local ice therapy are helpful. A corticosteroid injection in the shoulder can relieve severe pain," says Dr Mohit Kukreja, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central.
While you will start to see the changes as your therapy continues, complete recovery may take from several months to 1-2 years.
"It is best to avoid activities like overhead reaching, heavy lifting or any movement that causes discomfort. However, the mainstay of treatment is physical therapy, mainly stretching exercises of the shoulder. A physiotherapist can help you learn them and you can then practice them at home," adds Dr Kukreja.
Tips to recover from frozen shoulder
Here are other tips by Dr Niraj Kasat, Spine Surgeon Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road for full recovery of frozen shoulder.
Anti-inflammatory medication: You will have to take medication only prescribed by the doctor. Do not take over-the-counter medication. Doing so can deteriorate the health further. Be vigilant, and follow the guidelines given by the doctor.
Exercises: This will help to increase the range of motion, and manage pain. Heat and cold compression also help. Go for stretching and strengthening exercises as per the advice of the therapist but remember not to go overboard.
Good posture: Doing a pendulum or a towel stretch can be helpful. A good posture is also important to treat this condition. Remember that you need to keep the shoulder moving. Not doing so, and just keeping it still can aggravate pain. Also, you will have to avoid strenuous workouts or lifting heavy objects.
Shoulder manipulation: The shoulder joint will be gently moved by the expert while the patient is under the influence of general anaesthesia.
Steroid injection: In case the pain is unbearable and the condition doesn’t improve then the expert will also tell you to take a steroid injection in the shoulder.