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Giving the cold shoulder?

What you need to know about frozen shoulder

Adhesive capsulitis, another name for frozen shoulder, causes discomfort and stiffness in the shoulder joint. Typically, signs and symptoms start out mildly before getting worse. Symptoms normally improve over the course of 1 to 3 years.

The shoulder joint is protected by a connective tissue capsule. Health connective tissue is smooth, slippery and flexible. When this capsule around the shoulder joint becomes thicker and tighter it  limits movement and frozen shoulder develops.

It's unclear why certain people experience this. However, holding a shoulder immobile for an extended period of time is more likely to cause it, such as following surgery or an arm fracture.

There are 3 stages of frozen shoulder

Freezing - The shoulder hurts with every motion, and its range of motion is constrained. This can last for approximately 2 to 9 months.

Frozen - During this phase, pain might lessen. The shoulder, though, stiffens up. It becomes more challenging to use if at all. 4 to 12 months is typical for this stage.

Thawing - The shoulder starts to move more easily. This phase lasts for 5 to 24 months.

Exercises that increases range of motion are part of the treatment for frozen shoulder. Injections of numbing agents and corticosteroids are occasionally used as a kind of therapy. Most commonly people seek support from massage and physiotherapy. Remedial massage can offer techniques such as trigger point therapy and your therapist can offer a range of stretches that can be practiced at home.

frozen shoulder

Interesting facts about frozen shoulder:

  • It is 4 x more common in women than men. Frozen shoulder often affects adults aged 40-60 years, with a 3-5% incidence rate.

  • A history of systemic illness greatly increases a person's risk of acquiring frozen shoulder. Diabetes, hypothyroidism, and cardiovascular disease are examples of systemic diseases.

  • You can recover from frozen shoulder more quickly if you seek early treatment if you notice the telltale symptoms. If left untreated, frozen shoulder usually goes away on its own and doesn't recur on the same side. However, once you've had it, you have a higher chance of getting it on the other side.

As this is an issue in the connective tissue then there are also nutritional factors that can support the health of the tissue. Connective tissue does best when supplemented with Vitamins D & C, calcium, zinc and copper. Some foods that nourish the connective tissue might include cherries, blackberries, blueberries, acai, red cabbage, onions, apricots, cinnamon, nectarines and raw cacao.

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