Frozen shoulder is a painful restriction of shoulder movement. It affects 11 to 30% of people with diabetes, as opposed to 2 to 10% of people who dont have diabetes. Frozen shoulder is also known as adhesive capsulitis, shoulder periarthritis, or obliterative bursitis. The capsule of a shoulder joint includes the ligaments that attach the shoulder bones to each other. When inflammation occurs within the capsule, the shoulder bones are unable to freely move within the joint.
The main symptom of frozen shoulder is pain and, as result, stiffness sets in. Over time and/or with treatment, mobility can slowly return. Treatment often includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), steroid injections, and physical therapy. People with diabetes who are treated with steroid injections may experience increased blood sugar levels over 24 to 48 hours after receiving the injection.
In people without diabetes, frozen shoulder can present itself about the age of 50. For people with diabetes, this condition can occur in those as young as 40, sometimes younger. While frozen shoulder is usually less painful for those who are afflicted at a younger age, treatment may not be as effective and the condition may last a longer time. Tight control over blood sugar levels helps in the prevention of frozen shoulder.
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When last we left this saga, my doctor had me staying out from work for an additional week, but with the head swelling down, I was bound to be back on the bicycle as soon as possible (you know what they say about getting back on the horse that threw you...). I had planned to take my sister on a short (under a mile) ride — both for the company and to get us both on the bicycle. She turned chicken and I ended up going the "flat" route to the greengrocer — a little...