Management of frozen shoulder should be multipronged. The aim of treatment of frozen shoulder is to preserve as much mobility of shoulder joint as possible and to reduce and control pain. In management of frozen shoulder, alternative medicine such as acupuncture physiotherapy and TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) can also play an important role. You may need surgery or other medical procedure for effectively managing frozen shoulder.
Medications for frozen shoulder:
Medications used in management of frozen shoulder include, commonly used pain relievers such as aspirin and ibuprofen, which are available over-the-counter without prescription. Sometimes you may need stronger pain relievers for relief of pain.
Surgery and other medical procedures for frozen shoulder:
Frozen shoulder usually resolve by itself within 12-18 months’ time. However some patients may experience persistent symptoms beyond 18 months and such patients need to carefully decide available medical procedures for frozen shoulder, including surgical option. Commonly following procedures are available:
- Steroid injection: this may be helpful in reducing inflammation and associated pain in frozen shoulder. Steroid act locally as anti-inflammatory agent and usually do not produce systemic side effects and also more effective than systemic steroid.
- Shoulder manipulation: this is done under general anesthesia and the doctor moves your shoulder joints in various directions and movements. In some cases due to use of excessive force there may be fracture of bone, e.g. humerus.
- Joint distension: this is done by injecting sterile water into joint space/capsule of shoulder joint, which helps in movement of shoulder joint as it keeps inflamed surfaces away from friction and resultant pain.
- Surgery: if no procedure is giving satisfactory result, surgery can be done to remove scar tissue and adhesion from shoulder joint. Commonly arthroscopic surgery is done for this purpose.
Acupuncture for frozen shoulder:
This procedure has been in use for frozen shoulder for long, especially in China. These days acupuncture is available in most cities across the world. Many patients claim to get benefited from acupuncture in case of frozen shoulder.
TENS or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation:
In this procedure, tiny electrical current IS delivered to key points on a nerve pathway. How TENS works is not exactly known, but may be it stimulate the release of pain-inhibiting molecules (endorphins) or block pain fibers that carry pain impulses.
Image courtesy of [imagerymajestic] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net