Frozen shoulder refers to a global decrease in active and passive range of motion of the shoulder resulting in contracture. It is also characterized by pain, specifically when elevating the arm from the side and lowering it back down again.
Only 2% of people develop frozen shoulder; although this is quite low, several conditions are associated with an increased incidence. These include: including female gender, age older than 49 years, diabetes mellitus (five times more), cervical disc disease, prolonged immobilization, hyperthyroidism, stroke or myocardial infarction, the presence of autoimmune diseases, and trauma (i.e. motor vehicle accidents). Individuals between ages 40 and 70 are more commonly affected. Approximately 70% of patients are women.
Frozen shoulder is typically a self-limiting condition, lasting 12 to 18 months. Patients seeking care earlier usually recover more quickly. Early intervention is paramount.
Conventional treatment options described in the literature include physical therapy, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medications, oral corticosteroids, intraarticular cortisone injections, distention arthrography, closed manipulation, open surgical release, and arthroscopic capsular release.
Natural alternatives include therapies such as IMS (intramuscular stimulation) and medical acupuncture with electro-stimulation, massage, active release therapy and hydrotherapy techniques. Natural anti-inflammatory remedies can also be helpful in managing the pain.