Frozen Shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is a debilitating and painful condition of the shoulder characterised by stiffness and decreased range of motion. For some, it means difficulty hanging out the washing, making a cup of tea, feeding dinner and getting dressed. According to research, there may be some exciting hope for sufferers of the condition.
First thing’s first, what is frozen shoulder?
Frozen shoulder occurs when the shoulder capsule becomes stiff and thickened which restricts your ability to move the arm and often causes pain in the shoulder joint. It is important to have a proper diagnosis to ensure you do have frozen shoulder prior to proceeding with treatment.
What are typical treatments for frozen shoulder?
Obviously everyones situation is different however most people who have been diagnosed will see a physio and commence joint mobilisation and stretching program. Other treatments may include steroid injections, use of a TENS machine, pain medication and in some cases surgery.
What Does The Research Say About Cryotherapy for Frozen Shoulder?
- Increased shoulder flexion
- Increased shoulder abduction
- Increased shoulder internal and external rotation
When compared with the non-cryotherapy group, the cryo improved flexion by 53%, abduction by 58%, internal rotation by 90% and external rotation by 83%!
The addition of cryotherapy also lead to a decrease in pain from 6.0 to 2.5 points on the visual analogue scale compared to 6.0 to 3.7 in the group who did not use cryotherapy.