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February 12, 2010, last updated July 20, 2013

By Rory McClenaghan, Contributing Columnist,

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our Editorial
Board, which includes medical and certified fitness
professionals]



Whether it is ruling you out of your latest tennis tournament
or simply preventing you from being your usual active self, a
frozen shoulder is a frustrating and painful condition.
Symptoms range from stiffness and pain in the glenohumeral
joint to a complete lack of movement in the shoulder, making
even the simplest tasks impossible.

No one is certain of the causes of frozen shoulder or
"adhesive capsulitis", to give it its medical name. Active
sports, diabetes, heart disease and lung disease have all
been given as risk factors. The condition is rare in people
under 40 so many believe the simple wear and tear
associated with old age to be a cause.

There are three stages of frozen shoulder. In the first stage,
the shoulder starts to feel painful and becomes stiff, in the
second, or adhesive stage, stiffness increases while the pain
stays constant, in some cases the shoulder cannot be moved
at all. In the final, recovery stage, the sufferer starts to
regain movement in the shoulder, with the pain decreasing
at the same time. The full cycle can take anywhere from five
months to over three years. In general people with diabetes
take longer to recover.

Frozen shoulder can bring with it a number of other
difficulties. Many sufferers find the pain is worse at night,
which can lead to insomnia. The fact that the nature of the
condition can make working out of the question could cause
psychological problems, too. It is therefore vital to know the
best ways to cure frozen shoulder as soon as possible.

Here are the top 10 tips for relieving the pain and stiffness of
frozen shoulder.




























1.        Physiotherapy – a trained physiotherapist will use a
number of techniques to cure frozen shoulder. From ice
treatment, to working with heat and ultrasound. They are
also the best people to advise on what exercises are best to
aid a quick recovery.

2.        Shoulder exercises – gentle exercise and stretching is
very important for two reasons. Firstly it increases motion in
the joint and prevents the stiffness getting worse. Secondly
it keeps your muscles active and stops them from
atrophying. The key is to find simple exercises which you can
do regularly without too much discomfort.  

3.        Heat – keeping the shoulder joint warm helps loosen
stiffness and reduce pain. There are a number of ways to do
this. Anything from a simple cloth dipped in warm water, to
more sophisticated methods like heat pads and infra-red
heating lamps. Warming the joint before your shoulder
exercises will maximize their effectiveness.

4.        Use an extra pillow – the pain of a frozen shoulder
can be worse at night so you should do everything possible
to ensure a good night's sleep. One tip is to place an extra
pillow under the effected shoulder for extra comfort and to
make sure that if you roll over onto that shoulder in the
night, it will be cushioned.

5.        Massage  – this can be a great way to alleviate the
pain and stiffness of the muscles around the shoulder joint.
Shiatsu massage is particularly effective.

6.        Dietary supplements – some simple changes to your
diet can also help fight the symptoms of frozen shoulder.
Fish oils and glucosamine are both good for joints. Eating
more oily fish like salmon or mackerel is an easy way to top
up your fish oil intake but glucosamine is not present in high
quantities in foods, so a supplement is advisable.  Even
better than fish oil supplements is oil made from the shrimp-
like crustaceans called "krill".  In France, several popular
medications for stiffness of joints --- "articulations"  ---are in
fact mostly krill oil. (
Is krill oil better than fish oil?  Read
more.)

7.        TENS – transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or
TENS, is a type of physiotherapy which is given using a TENS
machine. Small electrodes are attached to the effected
shoulder, they deliver small electric pulses which numb the
nerve endings in your spinal cord which control pain. As a
result you no longer feel the pain from your shoulder.

8.        Wear a strap or support – if your shoulder is in the
second stage and movement is very restricted, a strap or
support can help to ease the pain. If your shoulder is only
starting to become stiff (in the first stage) or the stiffness is
decreasing (in the final stage), a strap is not advisable. It
could just encourage the joint to remain in the same position.

9.        Painkillers – if you are only suffering with mild pain,
painkillers like codeine or paracetamol could help. If your
distress is more severe an anti-inflammatory painkiller may
be better. Always contact your physician first, who may
recommend something like ibuprofen or naproxen. These
should be taken in a regular program rather than just when
the pain flares up.

10.        Acupuncture – many sufferers have reported that
acupuncture can help to loosen the shoulder and reduce pain.


Update:

In some instances, frozen shoulder can be an early sign of
Parkinson's disease. A 2012 study from Palacky University
Medical School in the Czech Republic has found that up to
33% of all
Parkinson's disease patients first exhibit some
form of earl muscular or skeletal problem, which can include
frozen shoulder. As the study notes, "Musculoskeletal pain
was present as a prodromal PD symptom in 27 (33%) cases
initially diagnosed with osteoarthritis, degenerative spinal
disease, and frozen shoulder."



















































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/ Osteoporosis- Top 10 Natural Remedies / My Aching
Bones -
Foods That Help /Frozen Shoulder- Top 10 Tips/
Knee Bursitis -Causes and Cures / Hip Bursitis-Causes and
Cures

How Much Is Too Much Salt? /Sugar-The Disease
Connection / Are Diet Sodas Bad for Your Health? / Ideal
Breakfast for Diabetics / Ideal Breakfast for Arthritis
/
Healing Foods Links /  Foods That Shrink Your Waist /
Foods That Lower Cholesterol/ VLDL-The Other Cholesterol/
Foods That Reduce Blood Pressure

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