doctor holding needle September 30, 2021

Is a Frozen Shoulder Injection the Best Treatment?

The pain of a frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) can last for weeks, months, and even years, depending on its development. Because frozen shoulder causes the shoulder joint to be restricted in its range of motion due to scar tissue and adhesions, performing any activity, from sleeping to lifting, becomes very difficult and very painful.

An effective treatment and a permanent cure for frozen shoulder is the ideal option, but many end up spending time looking at other options, such as using acupuncture for frozen shoulder or certain types of physiotherapy for frozen shoulder. Some even look into using steroid injections for pain relief. The question is, is a frozen shoulder injection the best treatment? Read on below to find out!

woman with hand on shoulder

Cortisone Injections/Corticosteroid Injections

Cortisone and corticosteroid are different names for the same drug. After cleaning the injection area with an alcohol-based solution and adding a numbing agent, doctors inject cortisone into the joint. It’s a process that takes only a few minutes. 

The cortisone injection reduces inflammation temporarily, and as a result of the reduction in inflammation the severe pain subsides…for a while. However, this is more of a band-aid fix than anything else. In fact, those that have tried cortisone injections in the past report that it is really a “hit or miss” temporary solution, one that has not proven fully effective in pain relief.

How Long Does it Take for Steroid Injection to Work on a Frozen Shoulder?

A steroid injection should begin to work immediately. Inflammation at the site of the injection will gradually go down after a few days. The steroid should, therefore, eliminate night pain the day you receive the injection.The effects of steroid injections can last for several weeks or months, so doctors often limit injections to every six weeks or four times a year, depending on the case.

Is a Cortisone Injection Good for Frozen Shoulder?

A 2016 study confirms that cortisone injections are a good short-term solution for adhesive capsulitis pain relief, but more information is required to know more about the long-term side effects.

Patients should be aware that a cortisone injection can have short-term side effects, including:

  • Shrinkage of the skin at the injection site
  • Lightening of skin color at the injection site
  • Infection
  • Bleeding from broken blood vessels in the skin or muscle
  • Soreness at the injection site
  • Inflammation in the injection site because of reactions to the medication
  • Weakened tendons
  • Tendon ruptures

Cortisone injections increase blood sugar, which can cause issues for diabetic patients. Additionally, patients who have issues with blood clotting cannot have a frozen shoulder injection of cortisone.

physiotherapist holding patients arm and shoulder

Those who suffer from frozen should consider the long-term effects of cortisone injection therapy. Long-term effects are dependent upon the amount and frequency of each dose:

  • Thinning of the skin
  • Easy bruising
  • Weight gain
  • Puffiness around the face
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Cataract formation
  • Osteoporosis

Luckily, there is an alternative to a frozen shoulder injection, and it’s a permanent cure!

doctor looking over patient in examination room

A Better Way to Treating Frozen Shoulder

When you come to the World Frozen Shoulder Clinic, we will do a thorough physical examination to diagnose the best way to treat your frozen shoulder, depending on the stage it’s in. 

Consider coming to our clinic if you can’t have a frozen shoulder injection but need a solution that solves the issue once and for all. Most cases can be cured in less than a day – sometimes in as little as one hour. How?

Frozen shoulder can be cured using the Manual Capsular Dissection (MCD) procedure. It was pioneered by our very own Dr.Allan Gary Oolo-Austin, and has a 98% efficiency rate. Patients rave about this method because it’s non-invasive and only takes for an hour to complete (although you will need to do some follow-up exercises and stretches for a short time. 

Undergoing the MCD Procedure is a life saver. If you’re in pain, then you should absolutely get in touch with us today for a consultation!

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