The link between menopause and frozen shoulder – Dr. Rajesh: Frozen shoulder is a disorder in which fibrous tissue forms about the shoulder joint, inducing:
- Reduced mobility
There is no evidence that frozen shoulder is linked to menopause.
Menopause, on the other hand, is associated with hormonal changes that may contribute to frozen shoulder and other musculoskeletal problems.
In this article, Dr. Rajesh Thunuguntla, an expert orthopedic surgeon from Telangana, discusses some treatment options between frozen shoulder and menopause.
Is it possible for menopause to cause a frozen shoulder?
When a woman who menstruates has gone a year without having a period, she has reached menopause.
It’s linked to a drop in estrogen levels that happens quickly.
Estrogen protects the bones and joints, and more than half of women who go through menopause experience joint stiffness.
However, menopause occurs when musculoskeletal problems are more common, it’s difficult to say whether this change is the direct cause of joint stiffness.
According to Dr. Rajesh Thunuguntla, an excellent orthopedic specialist from Telangana, Hyderabad, the frozen shoulder’s cause is unknown. There is little evidence in the literature to suggest that it is caused by menopause.
Menopause, on the other hand, may contribute to joint pain and stiffness indirectly through its other effects, which may include:
- Sleep deprivation
- Sexual incompatibility
What is the connection?
There isn’t much evidence that menopause and frozen shoulder are linked. Frozen shoulder, on the other hand, is most common during menopause.
Experts believe that hormone changes play a role in menopause and frozen shoulder.
Frozen shoulder explained
Frozen shoulder symptoms usually appear suddenly and include severe pain and stiffness in the front of the shoulder.
Frozen shoulders make it difficult to move the shoulder, interfering with daily activities.
In most cases, the condition progresses through three stages:
- The freezing stage: It is characterized by a gradual increase in pain and a reduced joint range of motion. It usually lasts anywhere from 6 to 9 months.
- The frozen stage: Although joint pain may improve during this stage, continued joint stiffness can make daily activities difficult. This stage lasts 4–6 months on average.
- The thawing stage: This stage usually sees a gradual advancement in shoulder movement and a return to normal or near-normal joint mobility and strength. Gradual improvement can take anywhere from six months to two years.
According to Dr. Rajesh Thunuguntla, an outstanding orthopedic specialist from Telangana, frozen shoulder patients can try various treatment options and management strategies.
A healthcare professional will give them personalized advice on the best course of action.
Hormone replacement therapy
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help relieve the symptoms of menopause by replacing hormones that the body no longer produces on its own.
Estrogen and progesterone are the two main hormones in HRT. Because estrogen protects the bones and joints, replacing it may help to alleviate joint problems.
Calcitonin, a thyroid hormone, has been shown to affect frozen shoulder during menopause.
This hormone reduces the buildup of fibrous tissues in the joints by lowering calcium levels.
According to a review published in 2020, using a calcitonin nasal spray can help relieve the symptoms of frozen shoulder.
Frozen shoulder may be less severe if you eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet.
People should avoid foods with a lot of additives and cereals with a lot of gliadin, according to a review from 2021.
Gliadin is a protein class found in wheat and other grains. It has the potential to increase inflammation in the body.
According to some researchers, A ketogenic diet can be helpful for frozen shoulder because it reduces inflammation and pain.
A ketogenic diet consists of a low-carbohydrate, high-protein, and high-fat diet.
Physical therapy aims to help people regain, maintain, and improve their physical abilities.
It’s an important management tool for promoting shoulder mobility and reducing pain.
A physical therapist may provide the following treatments and tips for frozen shoulder:
- Strengthening exercises
- Stretching exercises
- Advice on pain relief
- Advice on posture
Depending on a person’s frozen shoulder stage, the type of physical therapy they receive will vary.
Exercises during the freezing stage are aimed at reducing inflammation and controlling pain.
The exercises become more intense during the frozen and thawing steps, and the objectives shift to reviving joint mobility.
Stretching exercises can enhance joint mobility, and they’re most effective when done to a tolerable level of pain.
However, because mechanical stress can aggravate the problem, a person should seek medical advice or consult a physical therapist before beginning a new stretching routine.
Manipulation under anesthesia, steroid injections, and nerve blocks are all medical options for treating frozen shoulders.
An anesthetic or anti-inflammatory is injected into a nerve or a collection of nerve endings to disrupt discomfort signs to the brain.
According to Dr. Rajesh Thunuguntla, an incredible orthopedic specialist from Telangana, both treatments can alleviate symptoms temporarily, but they do not prevent the formation of fibrous tissue in the joint.
Ultrasound therapy, or therapeutic ultrasound, is a type of treatment that uses ultrasonic energy to relieve pain and promote tissue healing.
However, there is little evidence in the literature that this therapy effectively treats the frozen shoulder.
Surgery is usually only used as a last resort for frozen shoulder because it has a low success rate.
The outcome may be the same as it would be if more conservative management strategies were used.
The tight capsule around the shoulder joint is usually cut away and released as a surgical treatment option.
Frozen shoulder is an inflammatory condition that affects the shoulder joint, causing pain and stiffness. Menopause is the period of life after the menstrual cycle has ended.
There is no evidence that menopause is linked to frozen shoulders.
Menopause, on the other hand, is linked to a rapid drop in estrogen, which is essential for joint health. Other factors that contribute to joint pain and stiffness are related to menopause.
Poor sleep, depression, and fatigue are just a few of them.
Frozen shoulder can be treated in various ways during or after menopause.
Their stage of illness determines the type of treatment a person receives.
HRT, physical therapy, and medication are all possible treatments. A person can discuss their treatment options with a doctor.