It is a restriction of shoulder motion and movement in all directions. It is either due to an inflammation of tendons that move the shoulder joint or due to the fibrous capsule of the joint. Sometimes a swelling of the soft sac that cushions the joint can also lead to this condition. It is caused mainly by prolonged immobilization, common with people doing sedentary work, without much exercise or activity, as also with people in their old age. Another major cause is diabetes.
It restricts the motion of one’s shoulder and there would be considerable difficulty in shoulder movements in any directions. Routine stuff like reaching up to brush hair, fastening buttons or zip at back, removing the wallet from the hip pocket will be met with difficulty and stiffness that worsens over several weeks. There would also be pain and a feeling of tenderness in the shoulder. The pain and stiffness may extend to the neck and the upper arm.
Do's and Don’ts
To deal with a frozen shoulder, regular exercise is a must. They need not be strenuous ones, but gentle stretching and movement exercises. Gradual stretching exercises, although they may be painful at first, should be done under the guidance and then at home. Your perseverance with exercises will pay off. For any shoulder pain, do not stop using that arm, but rather see a doctor and ask for physiotherapy. One should avoid forceful movement of joints. As far as the diet is concerned, eat more vegetables, while avoiding meat, alcohol, tea, acid fruits, and sugar. You can use a heating pad or a hot water bottle for temporary relief from the pain and stiffness. If the stiffness is very severe passive manipulation under anesthesia may be required. Consult your doctor in case there is severe stiffness of joint, and also for physiotherapy guidance. You must remain utterly patient throughout the treatment as it may take few months before you gain full motion of a frozen shoulder. In some cases, it can even stretch up to 6 months or few years.