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Frozen shoulder, although not a very common ailment, affects 5% of adults. It does not affect young people and is therefore known as the adult ailment.

Once under the chant of frozen shoulder, an adult finds the joint uncomfortably stiff. Constant, severe pain is also a feature and the worst part is the very limited movement of the affected shoulder.

The pain is more troublesome at night and especially during the cold weather.

Apart from using pain killers, electrical heat is also given to help with relaxation from the severe pain. Certain exercises and special oil massages are also beneficial, but traditional joint manipulation works better.

However, more recently an injection of salty water and steroids has been found to reduce the painfulness of a frozen shoulder. The modern treatment, medically known as hydrodilatation, is carried out under anaesthesia. A local anaesthetic is first used to numb the area around the joint. Then an injection containing a long-acting anaesthetic and a steroid is very carefully inserted into the joint under x-ray guidance.

After that, a saline solution is inserted which makes the painful joint expand, therefore allowing easier movement of the frozen shoulder.

The above treatment takes some time to bring the affected shoulder within its normal range of movement – possibly up to six months – but the severe pain is reduced to little or no pain at all within a short time.

Overall observation shows that many more patients are found to be satisfied with this new treatment and the results have proved to be much better than the traditional joint manipulation.

The side effects of hydrodilatation are still unknown, but it is advisable to take this treatment from qualified and experienced doctors for better results.

Any person going for this particular treatment should take care to avoid sour and chilly items such as lemons, or tomatoes. Oily foods and excessive salt should also be avoided until the shoulder has fully recovered.


© H V Kerai


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