08 Dec Studies Suggest Possible Genetic Link to Frozen Shoulder
Shoulder pain isn’t fun. Even the slightest amount of pain could make using an affected shoulder quite uncomfortable. Unfortunately, a condition generally known as frozen shoulder is thought to limit function considerably. We’re not exactly sure why some people seem more vulnerable to it, but a recent study suggests there could also be a genetic link.
Researchers within the UK checked out hundreds of health records in hopes of understanding any common aspects frozen shoulder patients exhibited. After adjusting for quite a lot of aspects, the information revealed a possible genetic link in three locations.
More About Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder is thought formally as adhesive capsulitis. It’s a condition through which one among the patient’s shoulders progressively presents with more pain and fewer mobility. There may come some extent at which the joint becomes so stiff that the shoulder stays immobile nearly all the time.
Frozen shoulder generally occurs in three stages:
- Freezing Stage – Pain and stiffness are uncomfortable enough to hinder movement. Patients only move their arms when it is completely mandatory.
- Frozen Stage – A mixture of stiffness, pain, and lack of use make the arm/shoulder nearly not possible to make use of. Even the slightest movement becomes very difficult.
- Thawing Stage – Pain and stiffness progressively subside, allowing for increased movement and performance.
Each stage can last as little as two months or so long as 24. A single episode of frozen shoulder can go on for years at a time. It’s estimated that roughly 10% of the U.S. adult population will experience frozen shoulder at the least once.
The Causes of Frozen Shoulder
Although the British researchers could have identified a genetic link to frozen shoulder, that link would only explain why some individuals are more vulnerable to the condition than others. It doesn’t explain what causes frozen shoulder.
From a biological standpoint, frozen shoulder is directly attributable to a thickening and tightening of the connective tissue within the capsule that encloses the shoulder joint. Because the tissue thickens and tightens, there may be less room for the shoulder joint to maneuver.
It is just not clear what triggers the thickening and tightening. But there are many possibilities:
- Acute shoulder injury
- Scarring following shoulder surgery
- Prolonged pressure on the shoulder (e.g., like when sleeping)
- Underlying disease (e.g., diabetes, thyroid disease).
Past studies indicate that certain forms of behaviors can increase the chance of developing frozen shoulder. Smoking is one among them. Still, not everyone who smokes, injures the shoulder, has diabetes, etc. develops the condition. In order that takes us back to the genetic factor.
How Genetics Might Contribute
Without stepping into the actual details of the British study, it boils all the way down to the incontrovertible fact that genes identified in three particular locations may make the connective tissue within the shoulder capsule more vulnerable to the scarring directly chargeable for frozen shoulder.
If the researchers’ pondering is correct, a genetic predisposition to the condition would mean that an affected person has a greater risk overall. Injuries, underlying conditions, and at-risk behaviors only make it more likely that an individual will develop frozen shoulder.
It Can Be Treated
The excellent news is that frozen shoulder might be treated. Like most other types of shoulder pain, it’s a matter of creating the right diagnosis. Frozen shoulder is usually addressed with medications, physical therapy, and a wide range of alternative procedures, including steroid injections.
Frozen shoulder doesn’t need to dominate your life. If you might have been diagnosed with the condition but have found no relief, consider paying us a visit. Our doctors are pain specialists with access to probably the most effective treatment options.