Bengaluru: Frozen shoulder, which is the common name for adhesive capsulitism, is a condition characterised by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joints.
“Of all shoulder-related problems, frozen shoulder forms around 10-15% of the orthopaedic load. Frozen shoulder could be due to many reasons. The primary one is post-traumatic and post-surgical where the shoulder is immobilised for a long duration. A person is also likely to have a frozen shoulder due to infection, inflammatory and degenerative conditions,” said Dr Rewat Laxman, Consultant Orthopaedic, Narayana Health.
People aged between 40 and 60 years are more prone to a frozen shoulder. It is more commonly seen in women, especially with underlying conditions like diabetes and thyroid. The common symptoms include swelling, pain and stiffness which are mostly a result of underuse of the shoulder and lack of movement.
Dr Banarji B.H., Senior Shoulder Surgeon, Sakra World Hospital, said, “Long-term immobility of the shoulder joint can put people at risk of developing a frozen shoulder. Compared to men, more women face frozen shoulder problem. Approximately, 70% of the people with frozen shoulder are women.”
While Dr Manish Samson, Senior Consultant, Orthopaedics and Joint Replacement, Apollo Hospital, said, “Frozen shoulder occurs when connective tissues, known as the shoulder capsule, that surround the shoulder joint thickens and tightens, restricting the movement. Though diabetes is associated with frozen shoulder, the reason for this is unclear.”
Health experts, however, highlighted that a frozen shoulder can be fixed but the longer it’s avoided, the more will be the problem.
Dr Banarji said that sedentary lifestyle, weak postural muscles and hormonal imbalance may make women more prone to it. “70% of patients recover at this stage. The remaining 30% are advised to go for MUA (Manipulation under Anaesthesia). Further, physiotherapy being an essential aspect of this condition, it is advised to practice regularly under guidance,” he said.
Dr Manish Samson, who observed self-diagnosis among patients as a concern, suggested proper diagnosis before physiotherapy as all painful conditions are not related to a frozen shoulder. “Patients tend to worsen their condition and cause internal injuries. A proper evaluation is always recommended before treating the condition,” he said.
For any body part to be fit and functioning properly, its regular movement cannot be sidelined, the experts said.