Link between Diabetes and Frozen Shoulder

Diabetes is a serious health impairment that interferes with other body functions and organs. Among a wide variety of potential diabetes-related abnormalities, frozen shoulder is one of the most common ones.

Image Credit: shutterstock.com / Tridsanu Thopet

The medical term adhesive capsulitis is defined by US National Institutes of Health as a pathological condition, associated with the disorder of the shoulder joint that results in the painful loss of motion. Disturbing sleep and chronic pain become usual feelings in between the dull ache and sharp stings radiating through the biceps.

Following the information by Global Diabetes Community, only 30% of people with frozen shoulder have underlying diabetes. But, at the same time, doctors prove that patients with diabetes are twice as likely to experience frozen shoulder. Unfortunately, there is no 100% accurate explanation of the relation between these two conditions, but there is a high probability that it happens as a result of the collagen effect on the shoulder that keeps the bones together within the joint. The moment your blood sugar increases, collagen may turn sticky, so bone movements get restricted and the stiffened shoulder starts aching. For many years, uncontrolled diabetes has been associated with skeletal and muscular disorders, so its relation to frozen shoulder is not new.

Top Signs of Frozen Shoulder

Considering the symptoms of the condition, it is necessary to mention that stiffness and pain are the primary disorders you will notice. Their severity may vary from mild to severe so that you will not be able to move your shoulder. Besides, the symptoms of frozen shoulder will be accompanied by the overall diabetes signs.

Generally, doctors and medical specialists single out three main stages of the complication:

  • Freezing. The stage can last for 6-9 months and is characterized by increasing pain that may lead to significant motion loss;
  • Frozen. Varies from 4 to 12 months when pain decreases, but abnormal muscle stiffness enhances;
  • Thawing. It can last from 6 months up to several years. It is a sophisticated process when you gain an ability to move your shoulder again, so you can get back to fulfilling everyday tasks.
Image Credit: orthoinfo.aaos.org

Keep in mind that the symptoms of the disorder can vary greatly, depending on individual health specifications, underlying health problems, and other factors. Besides, early diagnosis and treatment are halfway to successful reduction of possible complications.

Possible Treatment and Management of Frozen Shoulder Signs

The good news at this point is the fact that frozen shoulder related to diabetes can be successfully treated. A range of anti-inflammatory drugs can decrease the pain patients usually suffer from, while steroid injections will reduce inflammation. Physical exercises will help you regain previous motion and strength of the shoulder muscles.

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