Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is caused when the shoulder joint has lost its normal range of motion in all directions. Any shoulder injury, scarring, or inflammation of the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint can result in a frozen shoulder. Moreover, don’t ignore the pain & stiffness, the gradual increase of pain can hinder your everyday activities making it tough for you. Physical therapy, natural remedies, and exercises can help a lot in treating frozen shoulder.
How does Frozen Shoulder happen?
The tissue that binds your shoulder joint (made up of three bones) together is called a capsule. When the capsule becomes thick and tight, your shoulder doesn’t get enough space to rotate or move. The condition is called ‘frozen’ as the thickening of the shoulder capsule makes the shoulder difficult to move. If left untreated, the pain and stiffness may remain for up to a year.
In addition, you are more prone to frozen shoulders if you have diabetes, hormonal imbalance, obesity, a weak immune system, or a sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, a long period of inactivity due to injury, illness, or surgery makes you more vulnerable to inflammation.
Symptoms of Frozen shoulder
Common symptoms and signs of a frozen shoulder include
- Stiffness in and around the shoulder. This usually happens in one shoulder at a time. Some people with frozen shoulders have a chance of developing it on the other arm as well.
- A dull, throbbing shoulder pain & joint pain around the arms.
- A limited range of shoulder motion.
- You may experience trouble moving your shoulder for activities involving shoulder movement like reaching for a higher shelf, getting dresses, holding objects, driving, and carrying things. The pain can worsen at night, making it hard to sleep.
Besides, this condition is more likely to occur in middle age. Generally, people between the age of 40- 60 years old and especially, women are more susceptible to this disorder than men.
Natural ways for Treating Frozen Shoulder
A frozen shoulder makes the full mobility of your shoulder impossible. Therefore, it is important to take shoulder discomfort seriously and treat it early to prevent bigger problems. This shoulder disorder can be prevented by incorporating natural remedies. Some of the natural ways to prevent a frozen shoulder include:
1. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory components to give relief from pain and swelling. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to two teaspoons of turmeric powder. Apply this paste and wait for it to dry. Also, apply the paste twice a day to get rid of the frozen shoulder.
2. Drink the powdered mixture of 1 tablespoon methi, dried ginger, and carom seeds with lukewarm water after the meals.
3. Ashwagandha is a rejuvenating antioxidant that promotes energy, vitality & strength. Available in powder form and capsule, drinking Ashwagandha along with warm milk relieves shoulder pain.
4. Apply a mixture of warm sesame oil and camphor and massage it gently on the affected area to alleviate the pain. Consuming a tablespoon of sesame oil with lukewarm water can also help.
5. Taking an Epsom salt bath can soothe the skin if you’re experiencing cramps. Fill a tub of warm water & add 2 cups of Epsom salt to it. Soak immersed in the tub for 10 to 15 minutes.
6. Another powerful oil known for its healing properties is eucalyptus oil. Apply a little eucalyptus oil to the affected area for a few days to get relief.
7. Apply 2-3 cloves of garlic to a little mustard oil. Boil this and let it cool. Apply this oil twice a day to treat frozen shoulders.
8. Take a few mint leaves and crush them. Add some water & form a paste. This cooling agent reduces the burning sensation in the shoulder.
9. Place an ice pack on the shoulder for 15 minutes. Apply it thrice a day to decrease the pain.
10. Moreover, soak a handful of black sesame seeds in water overnight. Consume the seeds with water in the morning. Remember, repeat this for a few days to get relief from the aching pain.
Alongside these tried and tested home remedies for frozen shoulders, you should also practice stretching and strengthening exercises. They help relieve the pain and restore the normal range of motion. Medication may provide instant relief from severe pain, but physical therapy is a must for lasting relief.
Here are some of the most appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises you can try, along with other home remedies for frozen shoulders.
Stretching and Strengthening Exercises for Treating Frozen Shoulder
Start with some warm-up exercises to get your shoulder ready for the drill. You can also try taking a warm bath for 10-15 minutes or place a moist heating pad to relax your shoulder before exercising.
Relax your shoulders and slightly lean over, hanging your arms in front. Gradually swing your arms in circles, one at a time. Perform ten revolutions each, clockwise and anti-clockwise. Start with a small diameter first. Once your symptoms improve, you can gradually increase the swing diameter.
Grasp a long towel with both hands. Hold it horizontally behind your back. Grasp and pull up the end of the towel using your affected arm. Pull it downwards with the unaffected arm. Repeat 10-20 times a day.
Stand at three-quarters of your arm’s length facing a wall. Keep your elbow slightly bent. Next, slowly walk your fingertips up on the wall using your affected arm. Slowly lower the arm. Repeat 10-20 times a day.
You can do this exercise while sitting or standing. Lift the affected arm at the elbow with the help of your good arm. Move it across your body, applying gentle pressure while stretching the shoulder. Now, hold the stretch for about 15-20 seconds. Consequently, repeat 10-20 times a day.
Rest your affected arm onto a shelf that must be breast-high. Open your armpits and gently bend your knees. Stretch and straighten your armpits as you try to deepen your knee bend. Try to stretch a little further every time. Repeat 10-20 times each day.
Hence, gentle exercises along with these natural remedies are effective for treating frozen shoulders. Maintain a range of motions as much as possible, however, avoid extreme movements as they may increase the pain.