Frozen Shoulder causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. It does eventually clear up on its own, but this can take several years.
There are several treatment options available:
Oral analgesics such as NSAIDS (ibuprofen, naproxen etc) and paracetamol are often used to reduce pain levels, particularly in the early stages of frozen shoulder. Ice packs are often useful too.
Exercise is usually a combination of stretching and strengthening, although this does depends on the stage of recovery. Exercise can be prescribed by a variety of therapists including osteopaths, physiotherapists and your GP. It is very important to move a frozen shoulder as much as you can.
- Manual Therapy
This can take the form of physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic or massage. Your therapist will try to reduce your pain levels and gently mobilise (stretch) the affected shoulder. They will encourage you to move your arm as much as possible within a tolerable range.
- Hydrodilation (Arthographic distension)
This is a relatively new treatment. Fluid is injected into the shoulder joint. The aim is to replace some of the lost synovial fluid, and also to stretch the joint capsule and break down adhesions. The procedure takes place under local anaesthetic and does seem to improve mobility and pain levels.
- Steroid Injections
Steroid injections are used to reduce local inflammation and pain levels, and seem to give good short term results. They are thought to be most useful in the painful early stages of frozen shoulder.
- Manipulation Under Anaesthetic (MUA)
This is where your shoulder is forcibly mobilised under anaesthetic. This is a very strong treatment, designed to pull apart the adhesions in the joint capsule. Usually MUA is considered if there’s little or no response to more conservative treatment.
Most people use a combination of exercise, pain killers and manual therapy. Steroid injections and hydrodilation are relatively common, although can be subject to long waiting times.
I treat Frozen Shoulder with osteopathy, Niel-Asher Technique and exercises. Arrange your free consultation by calling 020 8520 5268.