To date it is not scientifically proven that there is a link between menopause and frozen shoulder. But there is scientifically not a lot from the some 100 symptoms (noted by Andrea Donsky) that what happens to us during peri/menopause that is linked!
And I for one, had a very close call for a frozen shoulder diagnosis, which was very painful and took me 12 months to sort out – I couldn’t do up my bra, sleeping was uncomfortable, and doing every day chores were affected, let alone picking up weights at our studio for clients.
However, various shoulder pains are experienced during this stage and, shoulder experts such as Chiropractors, Physio’s and Osteo’s will tell you this is common for menopausal women and the connection to hormonal changes.
Most commonly it is experienced by women between the ages of 40-65 (70% more likely than men). It is also a time when we experience more musculoskeletal problems and from all I have read it is believed to be highly likely that our hormones play a role.
What is a frozen shoulder? The shoulder capsule is the tissue that surrounds the shoulder joint. With the development of a frozen shoulder, the shoulder capsule tissue hardens and thickens and also the synovial fluid that keeps the joint lubricated reduces, making the movements difficult. Other causes, (some of which I see at our studio) are,
– a sedentary lifestyle
– poor posture
– hunched or rounded shoulders
– recovery after surgery like mastectomy, stroke or fractures
Common symptoms are
– stiffness, swelling and pain in the shoulder joint.
– can occur in one or both
– simple tasks as picking up things or reaching
– brushing hair and doing up your bra
– sleeping difficulties
What solutions / preventions are there?
– First up is always to follow up with an allied health professional if experiencing pain or even discomfort. I ended up seeing 3 different professionals, they all did something slightly different plus I did the exercises they gave me – this is key! This may include an MRI
– Reducing inflammation – such as medication, therapeutic ultrasound or natural solutions such as an non-inflammatory diet which I did also
– HRT maybe a consideration
– exercise regularly, in all planes of motion
– practice good ergonomics ie sitting properly, standing and stretching shoulders regularly
Finally, I say this wholeheartedly, I do not want this for any woman. It can be severely painful, inhibit the quality of your daily life, cause lack of sleep which can lead to further irritability and even add to depression. I’m always surprised that women will be in pain for so long before they address it – you don’t need to. When it is resolved, they are like new women (hips is another one). So if this is you now or in the future then remember this article and go see an allied health professional.