frozen shoulder treatments

Study Finds Combined Corticosteroid and Exercise Successful at Treating Frozen Shoulder

New meta-analysis has revealed that combined corticosteroid and exercise are successful at treating frozen shoulder. The study, published within the JAMA Network Open journal, identified the combined treatment as being most effective in patients who had experienced frozen shoulder for one year or less.

Here, we’ll look at what the study found and the different treatments currently available for Frozen Shoulder.

Understanding the study

The new study involved carrying out meta-analysis and a systematic review of online databases in February 2020. It included studies which had been done to compare treatment modalities. There were 65 studies including 4097 patients involved in the analysis.

To ease pain in the short-term, it was discovered intra-articular (IA) corticosteroid was superior compared to other interventions. In the mid-term, adding a home exercise program alongside IA corticosteroid, physiotherapy and gentle stretches also provided added benefits.

The findings suggest that patients who undergo early IA corticosteroid and exercise programs can achieve better outcomes. Provided they have only experienced Frozen Shoulder for one year or less, this combined treatment could be most effective.

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is medically referred to as adhesive capsulitis. The condition presents pain and stiffness within the shoulder joint. The symptoms tend to worsen as time goes on, before resolving within one to three years.

The good news is, once a frozen shoulder has healed, it is uncommon for it to recur in the same shoulder. It may, however, occur in the other shoulder in some patients. It is unknown what causes the condition, though it is known to be associated with diabetes and long periods of immobilisation.

What current frozen shoulder treatments are available?

There are a number of frozen shoulder treatments currently available. The latest study could help specialists identify the best course of treatment for those experiencing the early stages of frozen shoulder. Other treatment options available include physiotherapy, medications, home care options and surgery.

With physiotherapy, the goal is to stretch out the shoulder joint in order to gain more motion. It can take up to nine months to see significant progress, depending upon the severity of the condition.

Surgery tends to only be carried out on patients with severe symptoms. If physiotherapy hasn’t worked, surgery may be the only option to help patients eliminate the pain and regain motion. However, there are risks to surgery which will need to be considered and discussed with your surgeon. To discuss the condition in more depth, call 203 195 2442 to arrange your consultation with one of our surgeons at our London shoulder clinic.