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Conservative treatment for frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder is a painful condition where the fibrous capsule surrounding the shoulder joint becomes inflamed and contracted. Up to five out of 100 people will get frozen shoulder in their lifetime, and you're more likely to get it between the ages of 40 and 60 years old. It tends to affect more females than males, and can occur for no real reason, or as a result of previous injury to the shoulder joint or soft tissues. People who suffer with diabetes, an underactive or overactive thyroid, and heart disease appear to be more predisposed to developing frozen shoulder.

Martens et al. (2021) looked into whether exercise therapy and/or stretching exercises were beneficial to those suffering with frozen shoulder. Evidence suggested that exercise therapy is effective in improving range of movement, function and pain. It was uncertain whether adding stretches to a programme with exercises added value, and further research would be needed.

Mertens, M. G. et al. (2021). Exercise therapy is effective for improvement in range of motion, function, and pain in patients with frozen shoulder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 10: 1016.


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