Frozen shoulder — also known as adhesive capsulitis or shoulder contracture — leads to pain and stiffness of the shoulder.
Over time the condition usually gets better even without treatment. But appropriate treatment can help reduce pain and improve the movement in your shoulder until it heals.
Treatments can include painkillers, shoulder exercises, physiotherapy and corticosteroid injections, with three different injection methods commonly used to treat frozen shoulder. But which of these methods is most effective?
That´s what a new study published in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery sought to find out.
Researchers randomly assigned 86 patients with primary frozen shoulder to undergo either intra-articular injection, subacromial injection or hydrodilatation (HD).
Using a visual analogue scale for pain, Simple Shoulder Test, Constant score and passive range of shoulder motion, they evaluated the patients before treatment and one month, three months and six months after treatment.
At six months, results showed significant improvements in each group. All patients were satisfied and none required additional treatment.
Among the three injection methods, HD showed more rapid improvement, with a greater range of motion in forward flexion and external rotation and a lower visual analog scale score for pain after one month, and better outcomes for all functional scores after one month and three months.
However, the researchers concluded that, although HD yielded more rapid improvement, there were no significant differences in any clinical outcomes among the three groups in the final follow-up at six months.