What is the best frozen shoulder treatment?
Does frozen shoulder heal by itself? Should I see my doctor? Is surgery the only way for a permanent cure for frozen shoulder? These are the questions that keep haunting you every now and then. Here is the good news for you! Frozen shoulder can non-surgically heal by itself and provide permanent relief from symptoms. Our consultants in Medica Stem Cells will help you in healing the shoulder by itself. Before knowing about it more in detail, let us first explore the causes and symptoms of a frozen shoulder condition.
Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis, can be described as “a condition of uncertain aetiology, characterised by significant restriction of both active and passive shoulder motion that occurs in the absence of a known intrinsic shoulder disorder.” Frozen shoulder has insidious onset marked by stiff shoulder with severe pain that usually gets worse by night. The pain is
restrictive with complete loss of rotatory movement of the shoulder joint. Typically, there is no finding in the patient’s history, clinical and radiological evaluation that can explain the pain or stiffness. Frozen shoulder is self-limiting and usually resolves within 12-36 months. But going through the pain without any proper treatment for a prolonged duration can be distressing.
Frozen shoulder may be primary or secondary. Primary idiopathic type of frozen shoulder is often associated with conditions like diabetes mellitus. Secondary frozen shoulder usually affects individuals with a recent history of a shoulder injury or immobilisation including rotator cuff tendon tear, subacromial impingement, biceps tenosynovitis, and calcific tendonitis.
Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis causes severe morbidity. But it is a common problem where patients do not realise it many times. The pain around the shoulder joint is intense, creating a disability to perform daily chores. The frozen shoulder starts with a painful phase which later leads to stiffness. The stiffness in shoulder joint suggests an initial inflammatory response, which then evolves into a fibrotic reaction causing severe pain and immobility.
Frozen shoulder often manifests in three stages:
Freezing stage or the painful stage: This stage lasts for around two to nine months. The onset of this stage is gradual, with dispersing pain. As the freezing stage progresses, the shoulder capsule shrinks and thickens, causing severe pain with restricted movement.
Frozen stage or the adhesive stage: This stage lasts for four to six months. During this stage, the pain usually begins to subside. Although the pain starts to wane, the movement of the joint remains restricted. It won’t be easy to rotate the shoulder, especially in a circular motion. Stiffness of the joint is persistent in this stage.
Thawing stage or the last stage: This stage is the final stage of frozen shoulder. It takes around six to twenty-four months to heal completely. During this stage, the capsule around the shoulder joint begins to loosen up. The patient experience a gradual improvement in the range of shoulder movement, and the pain subsides gradually.
The exact cause of frozen shoulder is still not known. However, people having diabetes or those who recently had to immobilise their shoulder for an extended period, mostly after surgery or after an arm fracture, are more prone to have frozen shoulder.
The people at higher risk of developing a frozen shoulder include:
- Women, particularly over 40 years of age, are more prone to develop frozen shoulder.
- Manual workers
- Prolonged immobility or limited mobility of the shoulder joint mostly after an injury like rotator cuff injury, broken arm, stroke or recovery from surgery.
- People, who have a systemic ailment like diabetes, overactive thyroid or underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), cardio-vascular disease, tuberculosis, parkinson’s disease.
Frozen shoulder is diagnosed initially by physical examination of the shoulder. Other additional diagnostic tools like, X-ray, ultrasound scan, or an MRI scan can be useful to study the internal structures. These diagnostic tools help to rule out other causes of pain and stiffness.
Medications for frozen shoulder treatment include administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, oral glucocorticoids, and intra-articular glucocorticoid injections. But conservative treatment helps to alleviate the symptoms only for a short duration.
Other frozen shoulder treatment methods include shoulder pain relief exercises, physiotherapy, corticosteroid injections, frozen shoulder surgery or regenerative medicine treatment.
Regenerative Cell Therapy VS Conventional Treatment
Recently an innovative treatment method named Regenerative cell therapy has emerged as one of the most popular treatment methods for frozen shoulder pain treatment. The non-surgical regenerative cellular treatments for frozen shoulder are a safe and natural alternative to frozen shoulder surgery that utilises the intrinsic property of your regenerative cells to promote healing. This unique therapeutic approach not only manages the symptoms but also promote self-healing of the damaged tissues and other connecting structures.
Unlike conventional treatment method, Regenerative cell therapy addresses the cause of the symptoms rather than merely masking the pain with painkillers. The clinical efficacy of Regenerative cellular treatments are published in peer-reviewed medical journals which are easily accessible to both the medical fraternity and for the patient. Usually, patients experience little to no downtime after undergoing Regenerative cell therapies for frozen shoulder treatment.
Hence, this Regenerative cell treatment has also reduced the need for prescription medications, steroid injections, and surgery.
At Medica Stem Cells, we use PRP therapy or Plasma Rich Therapy, along with other Regenerative cellular therapies for frozen shoulder treatment. According to several research studies, it is noted that Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP works very well in treating damaged ligaments and tendons.
For some patients, the complete protocol involves the administration of a series of injections in several treatment sessions or a combination of treatment protocols. The consultant chooses the best suitable personalised therapeutic mode, depending on your medical history.
Regenerate your shoulder and power your performance.
- Zuckerman JD, Rokito A. Frozen shoulder: a consensus definition. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2011;20:322–5.
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