Frozen shoulder is an inflammatory condition in which fibrous tissue develops around the shoulder joint, causing pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.
This article outlines the link between frozen shoulder and menopause and lists some of the treatment options available.
Estrogen has a protective effect on the bones and joints. More than 50% of those who go through menopause experience joint stiffness. However, as menopause generally occurs at an age when musculoskeletal problems are more likely to arise, it is difficult to determine whether this transition is the direct cause of joint stiffness.
The cause of frozen shoulder remains
However, menopause may indirectly contribute to joint pain and stiffness through its other effects, which may include:
There is little evidence of a direct link between menopause and frozen shoulder. However, frozen shoulder is
The symptoms of frozen shoulder typically begin
The condition generally passes through three stages:
- The freezing stage: This stage involves a gradual increase in pain, along with a reduced range of motion in the joint. It typically lasts from 6 weeks to 9 months.
- The frozen stage: During this stage, there may be an improvement in joint pain, but a continuation of joint stiffness can make daily activities difficult. This stage typically lasts 4–6 months.
- The thawing stage: A gradual improvement in shoulder motion and an eventual return to normal or near-normal joint mobility and strength typically occur during this stage. Gradual improvement tends to take between 6 months and 2 years.
People with frozen shoulder can try various treatment options and management strategies. A healthcare professional will be able to offer an individual advice on the best approach for them.
Hormone replacement therapy
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may help alleviate menopause symptoms by replacing hormones that the body no longer produces naturally. The two main hormones in HRT are estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen has a protective effect on the bones and joints, so replacing this hormone may help reduce joint problems.
A different type of hormone that
Eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet could reduce the severity of frozen shoulder. According to a
Some researchers also believe that a ketogenic diet may be beneficial for frozen shoulder, as it may help reduce inflammation and pain. A ketogenic diet is low in carbohydrates, adequate in protein, and high in fat.
A physical therapist may provide the following treatments and tips for frozen shoulder:
- stretching exercises
- strength exercises
- advice on posture
- advice on pain relief
The type of physical therapy that a person receives will depend on the stage of their frozen shoulder. During the freezing stage, exercises
Stretching exercises may help improve joint mobility, and they are
Medical treatment options for frozen shoulder
Both treatments can provide temporary symptom relief, but they do not stop the buildup of fibrous tissue in the joint.
Therapeutic ultrasound is a form of therapy that uses ultrasonic energy to alleviate pain and promote tissue healing. However, there is little evidence in the literature to suggest that this therapy is effective for frozen shoulder.
Surgical treatment options
Frozen shoulder is an inflammatory condition that causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. Menopause is the stage of life that occurs after the menstrual cycle ends. There is no evidence of a direct link between menopause and frozen shoulder.
However, menopause is associated with a rapid decline in the hormone estrogen, which plays an important role in joint health. Menopause is also associated with other factors that could contribute to joint pain and stiffness. These include poor sleep, depression, and fatigue.
Multiple treatment options exist for frozen shoulder during or following menopause. The type of treatment that a person receives will depend on the stage of their condition. Possible treatment options include HRT, physical therapy, and medication. A person can talk with a doctor about their individual treatment options.