Frozen shoulder, in a nutshell

A common occurrence, there are many factors like diabetes or injury that can cause excruciating pain

By Author  |  Dr Venugopal Gouri  |  Published: 4th Jul 2019  7:01 pm
Back pain

All seems to be well and one fine day, one realises that they are unable to move the shoulder up or backwards. Even if they try to, they find it excruciatingly painful. Well, the person seems to have developed a frozen shoulder. It is one of the commonest occurrences in today’s world.The shoulder is made up of three bones — the shoulder blade, the collar bone and the upper arm bone, called the humerus. It is a ball and socket joint when the upper end of the humerus glides around to give the mobility to the arm with the support of the shoulder.

To keep the joint strengthened and in place, there is a thick connective tissue called as the shoulder capsule. There is also a synovial fluid which gives lubrication to the joint that allows it to move without friction.It is when the connective tissue gets hurt, the inflammation of the joint causes scar tissue to form, which is thick and hard; and does not allow the joint to glide well. Movement becomes stiff and painful.

It is not easy to find the cause but, often, patients with diabetes are more likely to develop a frozen shoulder. As such, it could well be a presenting symptom and patients express reluctance to go for a blood sugar test when they seek treatment for shoulder pain.The other cause could an injury like fracture and immobilisation of the arm for a period of time is likely to precipitate frozen shoulder. Less common are patients of thyroid disorders and Parkinson’s disease too having this condition.

A stiff joint with difficulty in moving the shoulder upwards, forwards and backwards is the only symptom. But, patients with frozen shoulder also complain of pain even while at rest and at night. They find it difficult to lie on the painful side.There are certain stages to this condition. Freezing or painful stage wherein the pain increases gradually and patient finds the movement harder and harder. This could last from weeks to even more than nine months. Later, the shoulder remains stiff and the pain could stay static or go down with restriction of motion.
Homoeopathic medicine has good remedies to alleviate the pain, preserve and improve the mobility and flexibility of the shoulder.

Needless to say, physiotherapy is essential the see that the smoothened connective tissue of the joint, gradually gets mobile over a period of time. Hot and cold compress help relieve the pain and swelling. Arnica, Rhus tox and Ruta are remedies when there has been an injury and it helps it heal fast. Chelidonium and Chenopodium help relieve pain in the shoulders. Kalmia, Symphytum, Guiacum help improve the mobility of the joints. Calc flour and Silicea are good to supple down the affected scars of the connective tissue. These remedies surely help relieve the frozen shoulders in a matter of months.