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What You Need to Know About Frozen Shoulder and its Treatment
Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with a sharp pain in your shoulder that won't go away? Or maybe you've realized that your arm isn't moving as freely as it once did, making even simple tasks like putting on clothes difficult. If this is the case, you may be one of the millions of people worldwide who suffer from frozen shoulder.
A frozen shoulder is a stressful and troubling condition that can have a negative impact on your quality of life. It frequently develops gradually over time, which makes you feel helpless and fed up as your flexibility begins to decline.
I've had clients who regularly complained about intense pain in their shoulders that seemed to worsen with the slightest movement. They couldn't raise their arms above their heads or even put on clothes without excruciating pain. They frequently complained about shoulder stiffness, which made it difficult for them to sleep in peace at night. However, with the right approach, they were able to regain full use of their shoulder joint and resume their normal activities.
So, exactly what is a frozen shoulder? It is a condition caused by inflammation and tissue damage of the shoulder capsule. It usually affects people between the ages of 40 and 60 and is more common in women than men.
Although having a frozen shoulder can discourage you from exercising or engaging in your favorite hobbies, keep in mind that one of the main causes of frozen shoulders is a sedentary lifestyle and arm immobilization.
Due to high levels of inflammation, people with specific conditions including diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or Parkinson's disease are more likely to suffer from a frozen shoulder.
In this blog, I'll cover everything you need to know about frozen shoulder, from its causes and symptoms to the various frozen shoulder treatment options available.
So, let's get started!
What are the causes and symptoms of a Frozen Shoulder?
The shoulder joint is protected by a connective tissue capsule. When this capsule around the shoulder joint becomes thicker and tighter, limiting movement, a frozen shoulder develops.
It's unclear why certain people experience this. However, holding a shoulder still for an extended period of time is more likely to cause it, such as following surgery or an arm fracture.
Although the severity of the symptoms of a frozen shoulder might vary, they typically involve shoulder joint discomfort and stiffness. The discomfort is frequently stronger at night and is typically described as a dull ache. Even simple things like reaching for objects might be challenging because of the stiffness in the shoulder joint.
Even routine actions like dressing, traveling, and sleeping can become challenging as the illness worsens because of the shoulder joint's restricted flexibility.
Frozen shoulder generally progresses slowly over several months to a year and is divided into three stages: the freezing stage, the frozen stage, and the thawing stage.
During the freezing stage, the shoulder becomes extremely painful and stiff, making arm movement difficult. The pain may lessen in the frozen stage, but the stiffness continues to remain, and the flexibility in the shoulder joint is severely limited.
The shoulder slowly regains mobility overtime during the thawing stage, and the pain and stiffness start to go away.
If you have symptoms of a frozen shoulder, you should seek medical attention right away. Most people with frozen shoulders can assume to make a full recovery and return to full use of their shoulder joint with earlier detection and proper treatment.
How to Treat a Frozen Shoulder at Home?
As previously stated, a frozen shoulder is an inflammation of the shoulder joints. While some people opt for painkillers to treat the pain, it should not be done as painkillers reduce and delay the natural healing process of the body.
As a result, the treatment of frozen shoulder involves home remedies that focus on reducing inflammation and restoring flexibility to your shoulder joint.
These include taking vitamins and minerals as well as engaging in a variety of exercises and stretches that can help reduce inflammation and increase flexibility. Let's take a closer look at various frozen shoulder treatments.1. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant-Rich Diet
If you are already experiencing pain in your joint capsule or shoulder muscles and are concerned about developing frozen shoulders, an anti-inflammatory diet can help with pain relief.
A simple reduction in carbohydrates and saturated trans fats such as processed foods like sandwiches, burgers, etc, as well as an increase in anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, and oily fish, can work wonders.
Antioxidant-rich vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and sweet potatoes, aid in the removal of harmful compounds from the body.
Fatty fish contains Omega 3 fatty acids and can also help with lowering inflammation. Other foods include Avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. You can also download my 21 Days Arthritis diet plan for free to incorporate more and more anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods in your lifestyle.
2. Add Cryotherapy to Your Lifestyle
Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is a treatment option that has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in various illnesses, including frozen shoulder. Cryotherapy reduces swelling and pain by restricting blood vessels and decreasing blood flow to the affected area.
Cryotherapy can be used to treat frozen shoulders by applying a cold compress, ice pack, or specialized cryotherapy device to the affected shoulder. Cold temperatures can help reduce inflammation and swelling in the shoulder joint, relieving pain and stiffness.
According to one study in the National Library of Medicine, cryotherapy helps individuals with frozen shoulders by lowering discomfort and enhancing the range of motion.
The researchers found that the combination of cryotherapy and physical therapy effectively reduced discomfort and enhanced shoulder joint function.3. Exercise and Stretches
While it may sound meaningless to exercise and stretch considering the amount of pain you're going through, exercises and stretches can assist with enhancing movement, reducing pain, and restoring the natural function of the shoulder joint when treating a frozen shoulder.
Gentle stretching activities can assist with restoring the shoulder joint range of motion. Strengthening exercises can also help to improve the strength of the muscles that surround the shoulder joint, which can help to support the joint and decrease pain.
Exercise naturally "lubricates" joints and tissues, moves lymphatic fluid through the body, and strengthens the immune system, which is why the adage "you lose it if you don't use it!" applies.
Certain stretches like Pendulum Stretch and Towel Stretch can help with a frozen shoulder.
How to Perform Pendulum Stretch?
- Place your unaffected arm on a table or bench and hang your affected arm straight down.
- Move your arm back and forwards, side to side, and in circles, allowing gravitational pull to assist you.
- Repeat for another 5-10 minutes.
How to Perform Towel Stretch?
- Hold a towel behind your back with one hand and the opposite end of the towel with the other.
- Lift the towel slowly up and down, extending your impacted arm as far up your back as possible.
- Repeat 5-10 times more.
Always remember to warm up, stretch, and cool down after exercising for the best results, and reduce your intensity if you experience shoulder discomfort again.
You can also watch a Powerful Exercise for Shoulder Pain video where I have shown exercises and stretches to ease shoulder pain.4. Eat a Lectin Free Diet
If you regularly consume vegetables such as tomatoes, capsicum, brinjal, or legumes, it is time to start avoiding them. This is due to the presence of a protein called Lectins, which is known to cause inflammation in the body.
When we consume lectins, they can connect to the stomach lining and interfere with the normal functioning of the digestive system. This can lead to inflammation, digestive problems, and other health issues.
If you have to consume tomatoes or legumes, it is recommended that you peel them and remove their seeds, and soak legumes overnight before boiling them to reduce the lectins in them.
Turmeric is a popular spice in Indian homes and is used heavily in Indian cuisine. Turmeric's active compound, curcumin, can help alleviate pain and swelling in the shoulder joint. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties because it restricts the production of the enzymes responsible for inflammation, which can help relieve the symptoms of a frozen shoulder and helps with its treatment.
Turmeric is commonly used in Indian cooking, and people may consume it daily as part of their diet. However, it is important to note that simply eating turmeric alone may not be enough to treat frozen shoulder because turmeric includes a very low percentage of curcumin and you will need to eat a lot of turmerics to get the recommended dosage.
Using turmeric supplements instead of turmeric in its natural form can have some benefits. Turmeric supplements have a concentrated dose of curcumin. This means that taking a smaller amount of a supplement may deliver more curcumin than eating turmeric would.
Joint Pain Relief contains specially formulated patented turmeric root complex which has 10 times more absorption than 95% of the normal curcuminoids. Additionally, it contains natural extracts of ginger and boswellia which are known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and can help in frozen shoulder treatment.6. Magnesium
Magnesium has anti-inflammatory effects that can help lessen shoulder joint inflammation, a major cause of the discomfort and stiffness connected with frozen shoulder.
It is also well known to have muscle-relaxant effects, which can help decrease muscle tension and cramps that may contribute to the symptoms of frozen shoulder.
There are a variety of foods that contain magnesium and can help ease the symptoms of a frozen shoulder. These foods include leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, and nuts and seeds like almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. While these foods are rich in magnesium, it can be difficult to get magnesium alone from the diet. In such cases, a supplement of magnesium can help you fill in the deficiency.
In conclusion, it should be noted that a frozen shoulder can be a painful and disabling condition that affects your daily activities. Moreover, the majority of patients can fully recover and return to their regular activities with early discovery and appropriate treatment.
Additionally, make an effort to reduce other factors that trigger inflammation, such as high levels of mental stress, being overweight or obese, spending a lot of time sitting down, smoking cigarettes, being exposed to toxins or chemicals, and receiving a lot of vibration from moving vehicles.
Exercise, a lifestyle that incorporates cryotherapy, consuming a curcumin supplement, and an anti-inflammatory diet are all effective frozen shoulder treatments that can help considerably reduce pain, regain flexibility, and reduce inflammation.