diabetes and frozen shoulder

UK Study Finds Diabetes Likely Cause of Frozen Shoulder

A new UK study has revealed that Diabetes Type 1 can lead to musculoskeletal issues such as frozen shoulder. The research was presented at the 2021 Diabetes UK Professional Conference.

Here, we will look at what the study found and the link between diabetes and frozen shoulder.

Understanding the study

Researchers from the University of Exeter, analysed health and genetic data from the UK Biobank and FinnGen. They were looking to see if patients with Diabetes Type 1 were more likely to develop other conditions. When a link between diabetes and frozen shoulder was found, the team used the Mendelian randomisation technique to establish whether it was a casual or serious link.

It was revealed that Diabetes Type 1 can directly increase the risk of four conditions. These include frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome, Dupuytren’s Contracture, and trigger finger. Each of these musculoskeletal conditions are characterised by reduced mobility in the hand, shoulder, fingers, or wrist. They also cause a lot of pain to patients.

It is thought that prolonged high blood pressure caused by Diabetes Type 1 is to blame for the increased risk of musculoskeletal issues. The hope is that now healthcare professionals can recognise these four conditions as chronic complications of Diabetes. This will ultimately help to diagnose and treat the conditions quickly, improving patient outcomes.

What is frozen shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is a condition which causes the shoulder to become painful and stiff. It can last for months, or even years in some cases. It is typically a self-limiting condition which means that it resolves on its own and should have no long-term harmful effect on a person’s health. However, there are treatments available which can help ease the pain and improve mobility.

Frozen shoulder occurs when the tissues around the joint of the shoulder become inflamed. Due to the inflammation, the tissue starts to tighten and shrink, leading to pain and discomfort.

Most people develop a frozen shoulder due to a surgery or injury which prevents the arm from moving normally. As the new study confirms, diabetes can also be a factor.

How is frozen shoulder treated?

While a frozen shoulder does tend to clear up by itself, there are treatment options available which are aimed at controlling pain and increasing mobility of the shoulder joint. Pain relief medication, steroid injections, and physiotherapy are all effective treatment options.

Many patients find a combination of pain relief and physiotherapy works best. The treatment you receive will depend upon how stiff and painful the shoulder is. The goal of physiotherapy is to improve the motion in the shoulder. It will also help to build up strength in the area, helping to reduce the pain. If non-operative measures fail to improve the symptoms, then arthroscopic release of the shoulder capsule and manipulation of the shoulder joint, performed under a general anaesthetic, could be advised.

If you are concerned you might be suffering from a frozen shoulder, call 0203 195 2442 to book a consultation today. There are many potential causes of shoulder pain and stiffness. Therefore, the exact cause will need to be diagnosed before treatment can begin.