Frozen Shoulder

Joint and Muscle Problems Associated with Diabetes

Connective Tissue Disorders
Tests Your Doctor May Carry Out
Frozen Shoulder
Trigger Finger
Dupuytren’s Contracture
Carpel Tunnel
Stiff Man’s Syndrome [SMS] Also Known as Stiff Person’s Syndome
Diffuse idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis [DISH]


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Frozen Shoulder [adhesive capsulitis]

An early sign of frozen shoulder is when lifting the arm above the head, reaching across the body or behind the back is difficult. This is followed by pain, often worse at night, the pain then reduces but the range of movement is more limited which may last for 4-12months. In the final stage, the condition begins to resolve although surgery may be needed to restore movement. The cause is unknown but thought to involve an underlying inflammatory problem. The capsule around the shoulder joint thickens and contracts leaving less space for the upper arm bone to move around. It can also occur after long periods of immobilisation eg after injury or surgery.

Treatment – Drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce the inflammation and pain, muscle relaxants, physiotherapy, exercises, heat or ice therapies, corticosteroid injections but surgery is only used if there is no improvement after several months. Some people have reported a positive response from acupuncture. Frozen shoulder affects more women than men, usually starts between ages 40 and 65 and affects 10-20% of people with diabetes.