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Frozen shoulder also known as adhesive capsulitis ,is a process that involves thickening and contracture of the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint.This condition ''freezes'' the functionality of the shoulder limiting the range of movements active and passive.

The most used criteria for the diagnosis of this condition are:

  • painful stiff shoulder for at least 4 weeks
  • painful restriction of active and passive elevation to less than 100 degrees and 50% restriction of the external rotation
  • normal radiological appearance
  • no secondary causes

Usually ,only one shoulder is affected although it can spread to the other shoulder.

Therapeutic options

The treatment of frozen shoulder is a combination of mobilization exercises with intra-articular steroids,hydraulic distension of the joint capsule,manipulation under anaesthesia,arthroscopic and/or open arthrolysis.The clinical effectiveness evaluated steroid injection ,sodium hyaluronate ,supervised neglect,physical therapy,acupuncture,manipulation under anaesthesia ,distension and capsular release(Management of frozen shoulder-Health Technology Assessment 2012)

The integration of traditional Chinese and Western medicine and their clinical effects have widely evaluated.Many studies have shown that using combination of these two remedies had better result for the patients than using only one of them.Pain was controlled better by acupuncture ,while the restriction of the movements improved following physical therapy.(American Journal of Chinese Medicine 2006-A study of the clinical effects of physical therapy and acupuncture for spontaneous frozen shoulder-Chn Y,Chien C,Ho T,Chu B).

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