The body is a holistic being. It needs to be nurtured and treated as a single entity rather than separate parts. As a naturopath, I am acutely aware of the ways in which imbalance in one part of the body can cause pain and discomfort in other seemingly unrelated body parts. I am currently studying to become a chiropractor and these links are becoming even more obvious to me. Over the years, family and friends who were initially sceptical about my medical advice have been amazed by the results when they combine alternative therapies with conventional medicine. I’m sure there are thousands of people out there who could benefit from a different approach to their health. I have started this blog to merely inform about the possibilities and allow readers to make up their own minds. Enjoy reading and best of health to you all!
If you have continued stiffness of your shoulder joint, you might be suffering from frozen shoulder. This is a condition that often begins mild, then starts to worsen as time goes on. It is important to know more about the condition so you can recognize the symptoms and get treatment before it gets too bad.
What are the potential causes?
Frozen shoulder is one of many conditions of the body where there isn't a clear and cut reason for some people developing, and other people avoiding it. With frozen shoulder, it is caused by the capsule around the ligaments and tendons in the shoulder thickening. When it thickens, it starts to get tighter around the joint of the shoulder, which freezes it in place and prevents it from moving properly. It does tend to be more common in certain people, such as anyone that doesn't move their arm or shoulder a lot, someone with diabetes, or anyone who has had a fracture or surgery on the arm. Other risk factors include age and certain diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, thyroid diseases, or tuberculosis.
How do you know you have frozen shoulder?
The first and primary sign of frozen shoulder is when you can't move it. It can last seconds or minutes when the shoulder is unable to be moved. Since this condition happens slowly, you might notice an odd sensation and a lag in moving the shoulder, while later down the line, it is impossible to move. It usually begins with freezing, where the range of motion is simply reduced. This can gradually increase to where the shoulder is even more stiff and harder to move. It then reaches a point where you can barely lift your arm. You might also have some tenderness and swelling, with the pain worsening at night when you are trying to sleep.
What is the diagnosis and treatment like?
If you think you have frozen shoulder, make an appointment with your doctor. They will begin with a physical exam and x-rays to look for signs of frozen shoulder. They often refer you to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in such conditions. Treatment often beings with non-surgical options, such as taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce inflammation and increase mobility. As part of the non-surgical treatment, you may want to try chiropractic treatment first. The chiropractor will use ice and heating treatments, as well as perform various exercises and manipulations on the shoulder to help ease the discomfort and lack of mobility. Surgery is only recommended if these methods don't work, which consists of loosening the tissues causing the condition.