Islets of Hope disorders associated with diabetes
Fast Links to Disorders Often Associated with
Fast Click to Problems Associated with
Dupuytren's Contracture (Stiff-Man Syndrome)
Dupuytren's Contracture of the palms and fingers of the hand is another kind of contracture syndrome also related to diabetes. It is sometimes referred to as stiff-man syndrome and can affect both men and women. Those who do not keep good control over their blood glucose levels are at greater risk for developing frozen shoulder and Dupuytren's Contracture syndromes.
Frozen Shoulder Information &
Important Medical Disclaimer
All information and material on IOH's web site is intended for personal information only. No one should attempt to self-diagnose, self-treat, or alter a medical care plan without first consulting their physician
What is "Frozen Shoulder"
Frozen shoulder is a condition called "adhesive capsulitis." It may begin with shoulder pain from overuse or mild injury which causes a person to "favor" the shoulder, not moving or using it to avoid pain. But not using the shoulder makes this condition worse, not better.
While the reason is not known, diabetes is also a risk factor for frozen shoulder. Some scientists feel that it may be related to collagen, a substance in ligaments, that helps hold bones to joints. Because glucose molecules can attach to collagen, it is thought that people with diabetes may deposit abnormal amounts of collagen in cartilage and tendons of the shoulder.
About 20% of people with diabetes have frozen shoulder, a much higher percentage than is seen in the general population (about 5%). Also, those with diabetes may be less responsive to treatment than others so it is important to address this condition as early as possible.
Frozen Shoulder and Diabetes
It is estimated that 10-20% of all persons with diabetes will end up having problems with frozen shoulder. Most commonly affected are women under the age of 40. Even though frozen shoulder is becoming more common (increasing as the rate of diabetes increases) many physicians may still misdiagnose this condition as a torn or injured rotator cuff. If you have diabetes, it is important that you get proper diagnosis for frozen shoulder because early and proper treatment is key to limiting the length and severity of problems.
Many physicians now routinely check for frozen shoulder in patients with diabetes. It is most often seen initially in the dominant shoulder (if you are right-handed, for example, the right shoulder) but can be seen in either or both shoulders.
In the early stages of frozen shoulder, a shot of cortisone directly into the shoulder can prevent full-blown frozen shoulder. However cortisone is dangerous to diabetics as it can raise blood glucose (sugar) levels, so the treatment is typically used only for non-diabetics. Since this early treatment step may not be used in those with diabetes, it is all the more important you get an early and accurate diagnosis for frozen shoulder.
The best thing that you can do to avoid frozen shoulder is to simply keep your blood glucose levels in target range as much as possible. And, if you experience any shoulder or arm pain, or notice your range of motion becoming more limited, see your doctor immediately.
The Progressive Stages of Frozen Shoulder
How frozen shoulder is treated can depend upon what stage you are in at the time of diagnosis (see chart above). But treatment may include:
Even with treatment there may be persistent stiffness and pain. If there is forceful manipulation of the shoulder during surgery, the arm can break. It is important that you have a physical therapist that understands how to treat frozen shoulder in order to prevent making problems worse.
As with many medical problems, the early frozen shoulder is detected, the more favorable the outcome. Keeping blood glucose (blood sugar) levels in check may help prevent further damage and speed recovery.
Frozen shoulder is a progressive disorder and seeing your doctor early may reduce the length of the disorder, as well as help minimize the discomfort and damage.
Page Updated 03/30/2006