Adhesive capsulitis — more commonly known as “frozen hip” — is a painful condition that can also affect the shoulder.
The tissue around the joint becomes inflamed, causing a reduction of mobility in the joint and pain that can radiate out to the groin or buttocks.
Sufferers may have difficulty sitting for prolonged periods, sleeping on the affected side, and dressing their lower extremities, as well as other day-to-day activities like driving and taking part in hobbies.
Frozen hip is more common in females than males and mostly affects people aged between 30 and 55. Other risk factors include extended periods of immobility and a range of medical conditions including diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, thyroid problems, and tuberculosis.
There are several medical treatments available for frozen hip, but many of them can provoke unwanted side effects. Thankfully, chiropractors offer a range of alternative frozen hip joint treatments to remedy this debilitating condition.
The stages of frozen hip
Frozen hip typically moves through four distinct stages. First, patients begin to experience pain in the joint, but movement is usually unhindered. As the condition progresses, movement gradually reduces until the joint becomes very stiff. Then, it begins to “thaw” — the pain eases, and movement slowly returns.
Sufferers experience pain throughout each stage, and the condition can last for months or years before resolving itself.
Diagnosis and treatment
Doctors are only able to diagnose frozen hip based on the presence of symptoms, rather than any definitive medical evidence. Capsulitis doesn’t show any visible anomaly on an x-ray, MRI, or CT scan. However, a doctor will usually perform at least one of these tests to rule out other potential causes such as arthritis.
Frozen hip tends to heal by itself, so treatment typically centers around supporting the joint, helping the patient to carry out daily tasks with greater ease and less pain. A doctor will likely recommend taking pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medicines as needed for the duration of the condition.
Many people prefer to avoid taking analgesics due to the long list of side effects associated with them. These include drowsiness, gastrointestinal issues, skin complaints, and tinnitus. Anti-inflammatory medications can also increase the risk of bleeding in the stomach, a heart attack, or a stroke.
Alternative treatments for frozen hip
If you would prefer to avoid taking medication, a chiropractor may be able to help reduce your symptoms and speed up your recovery with one or more of these alternative frozen hip joint treatments.
- Heat application — Applying heat to the affected area promotes blood flow around the joint. It relaxes the muscles, helping to restore some movement and flexibility. It also encourages muscles to absorb nutrients more quickly.
- Massage therapy — Massage is known to improve blood circulation and break down scar tissue. It can help to relieve pain and stiffness in the affected hip while expediting the healing process.
- Stretching exercises — Depending on the stage and severity of your condition, a chiropractor may also recommend you follow a regime of stretching exercises to help restore motion to the joint and alleviate pain. You should only use this treatment method if advised to do so by a professional.
Frozen hip is often painful and life-limiting. Fortunately, there are several treatment routes available, even for those who prefer not to take medications.
Seek a consultation with a qualified provider of frozen hip joint treatment in Garden City, MI here at Michigan Chiropractic Specialists and start your journey on the road to recovery.