Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis is a condition characterized by pain and loss of motion in shoulder joint. It commonly affects the left shoulder than right and occurs more often in women than men. The exact cause of frozen shoulder is not known. It is most commonly associated with diabetes and a few other endocrine diseases. The main symptoms include pain, stiffness, and decreased motion of the shoulder.
Frozen shoulder is a self-limiting disease and symptoms usually subside after a year. Treatment is aimed at pain control and restoration of motion.
The treatment of frozen shoulder requires a combination of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, and physical therapy.
Cortisone injections are given directly into, or near to the shoulder joint. It reduces the inflammation within the frozen shoulder joint. Cortisone is a type of corticosteroid released by the adrenal gland in response to stress.
Cortisone is a potent anti-inflammatory medicine that can reduce inflammation, but is not pain reliever. Cortisone injections typically result in pain relief within a few days, which is because the inflammation diminishes. The effects may last for several weeks.
The most common side effect is a “cortisone flare”. This is a condition where the injected cortisone crystallizes and causes a brief period of severe pain, that usually only lasts for a day or two. This is treated by application of ice to the injected area. Other side effects include whitening of the skin at the injection site, infection, a transient elevation in their blood sugar in patients with diabetes.