What is frozen shoulder?
Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is a medical condition, characterised with pain and stiffness of the shoulder joint. This condition progresses slowly over the years, resulting into restricted movements of the shoulder. After a period of continuous discomfort, frozen shoulder usually resolves in course of time. But symptoms may take upto 3 years, till they completely disappear.
A strong connective tissue, known as shoulder capsule surrounds the ball and socket joint of the shoulder. This capsule when lubricated with synovial fluid, helps in shoulder movements. In the case of frozen shoulder, this capsule becomes thick, stiff and tight, making the shoulder movements difficult. There may also be reduction in the synovial fluid, that can further worsen the condition.
It is still not clear what exactly causes the capsule to thicken, but it’s been observed frequently happening to people with diabetes. People who are not able to mobilise their shoulders for long time are also likely to develop this condition, like anyone who recently had surgeries such as mastectomy or arm fracture.
Sign and symptoms
The primary sign and symptoms faced by anyone suffering from frozen shoulder are pain and difficulty in movement of the shoulder joint. This condition develops slowly and is marked by three stages-
- Freezing stage- This stage may last from 6 weeks to 9 months. In this stage the pain in the shoulders keeps on increasing with time, slowly limiting the range of movement of the shoulders.
- Frozen stage- This stage lasts for about 4 to 6 months. In this stage, the pain in the shoulders improve, but the range of movement keeps on decreasing with time. Carrying out daily activities become difficult during this period.
- Thawing stage- In this stage, the symptoms begin to improve. Complete resolution of the complaints and returning to normal movement of the joint may take upto 6 months to 2 years.
Some factors which may increase the risk of developing frozen shoulder are-
- Women and people above 40 are more likely to suffer from this disease.
- People who are not able to mobilise their shoulder for any medical conditions like arm fracture, stroke, rotator cuff injury, some surgeries like mastectomy are more at risk of developing frozen shoulder.
- There are certain systemic diseases which are known to increase the risk of frozen shoulder like diabetes, hyper or hypo thyroidism, cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson’s disease, tuberculosis, etc.
Frozen shoulder can usually be diagnosed by the presenting clinical symptoms. For the inspection, doctor may ask the patient to move his arm in certain ways to evaluate the range of motion, which is known as active range of motion. Then the doctor may ask the patient to relax and he himself move the arms to watch the passive range of motion. In the case of frozen shoulder, both active and passive range of a patient are affected.
To confirm the diagnosis, doctor may suggest for imaging tests like X-rays and MRI.
Though frozen shoulder is a self limiting medical condition, which resolves over time, but the symptoms produced can be perilous, making day to day activities difficult.
Homeopathy is best for the treatment of frozen shoulder, as it can provide relief of symptoms in most natural way, without the need of any painkillers. As homeopathy works on the root cause of the disease, it provides rapid relief and minimises the chances of further recurrences. Patient should reach out to the best homeopathic doctor from the very starting stage of the disease, for fast recovery.
Homeopathic medicines are chosen after looking into details of the nature of the symptoms, their modalities, underlying causes, mental and physical state of the patient. The remedy chosen according to the symptom similarity acts wonderfully in eliminating the disease from its roots. Consulting the best homeopathic doctor on time may help in stopping the symptoms in taking their severe forms.
Some commonly used medicines for frozen shoulder are rhus tox, sanguinaria, ferrum met, bryonia, phytolacca, ledum pal, etc.