Before going into the detail of Frozen Shoulder, you should be aware of the fact that your shoulder consists of three bones. Together they form a ball and socket joint. One comes from the upper arm, then shoulder blade and eventually collarbone. The medical names are Humerus, Scapula, and Clavicle respectively. Also, there is a Shoulder Capsule that holds all three bones to form a joint. This Shoulder Capsule is basically a tissue surrounding the joint.
How the shoulder becomes frozen? That is very simple to understand. When a limited amount of Synovial Fluid fails to reach the joint, bands of scar tissue are formulated and the joint becomes hard, thick and unable to move in its regular way.
The symptoms of this disease are easy to understand. The one going through the disease will face shoulder and muscle pain. Find very hard to move the arm around. Especially, he/she will feel pain in the upper arm and at nights the ache will increase that will not let the patient sleep. With a Frozen Shoulder, one will go through three phases on a typical note. Let us go through the details for a clear understanding.
- Freezing: You will feel pain in the shoulder that will become severe sometimes. During all this, you won’t be able to move your arm properly. It means that your arm can move to a limited position. Also, the pain at nights will reach its peak. All of this phase will remain from six to nine months.
- Frozen: In this phase, the pain is less but the stiffness of the arm becomes intolerable. It will become impossible for you to conduct your daily activities. The timeline of this phase is from four to twelve months.
- Thawing: This is the recovery phase where your shoulder starts to move on a normal note slowly and steadily. This come-back takes the time period of six months to two years.
Why people have Frozen Shoulder? The age bracket for patients is 40 to 60 years, women are more prone to frozen shoulder. Recovering from a stroke, surgery or mastectomy condition like cardiac, thyroid, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease may increase the chances of frozen shoulder. Never ignore to visit an orthopedic surgeon in Pakistan or anywhere in the world.
Patients with Frozen Shoulder need to visit a doctor, physician or orthopedic surgeon. You can find an orthopedic surgeon in Pakistan who will check the movement of the arm. This involves injecting anesthesia into the shoulder to locate the range of pain in physical movement. Moreover, X-Rays, Ultra-Sound and MRI can be used to ascertain the cause of the pain in the shoulder, before you get the required treatment option including medication, physiotherapy, and surgery.
If the doctor decides to treat the frozen shoulder through physiotherapy, he/she will advise one or more of the following exercises, to create movement in the affected shoulder:
- Pendulum Stretch by moving the affected arm in pendulum movement to regain strength.
- Towel Stretch by holding a towel in both hands and moving it in a stretch position to make sure the affected arm gets a stretch.
- Finger Walk by standing against the wall and moving the fingers of the affected arm up the surface to reach the highest point which the affected arm may allow. The repetition will improve the functionality of the arm.
- Cross-Body Reach to make the affected arm work and relax.
- Armpit Stretch to poise the body in straight and pushing the hands back to the maximum.
If physical therapy fails to address the situation and painkillers such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen fail to achieve the desired results, the patient may need to consult an orthopedic surgeon. There are some good orthopedic surgeons in Pakistan who may avail one / more of the following options to treat the affected shoulder:
- Corticosteroid Injection: This injection helps in waving off the pain and make the shoulder to move around in motion like a normal one.
- Joint Distention: In this an injection of Sterile Water to be injected into the shoulder. After this, it becomes easy for you to move your shoulder properly.
- Shoulder Manipulation: It is done with anesthesia. Doctors try to create motion in your shoulder while you are off. This method is not more common these days because of the risk of fractures during the process.
- Surgery: This is the last option when no other treatment is left to perform over the patient. The procedure is called Orthoscopic where pencil sized tools are inserted into your shoulder to treat the defected shoulder. You can find an orthopedic surgeon in Pakistan who can perform the surgery without any issues.
Surgical techniques are changing with time. Gone are the days of open surgery for every frozen shoulder. Today, surgeons are relying on arthroscopic procedures.
Normally, frozen shoulders respond positively to surgical treatment, displaying a reduction in the problem’s duration, and restoring the normal functionality of the shoulder, which may take up to 3 months.
Patients suffering from acute frozen shoulder find it quite mitigating because the procedure ensures safe and fast restoration of arms functionality making life easy and normal for the patients.