Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is a condition in which the tissues around the shoulder joint stiffen, scar tissue forms, and shoulder movements become difficult and painful. It can develop when you stop using the joint normally because of pain, other injury, or a chronic health condition, such as diabetes. Any shoulder problem can lead to frozen shoulder if you do not work to maintain its full range of motion.
Your spine is composed of a series of vertebral bones spaced out by soft cartilaginous discs of tissue. These discs serve to absorb shocks associated with movement, they also help permit twisting of the spine. Over time these discs can dehydrate and begin to flatten or bulge. If a disc bulge extends far enough, it can qualify as a “herniation”, although the medical terms “protrusion” and “extrusion” are more commonly used now. The difference is simply how far back the bulge goes.
The discs of your low back, or lumbar spine, carry a heavy load and are more susceptible to degeneration and herniation than discs in other segments of the spine. The lowest levels, L4-5, and L5-S1 are the most common levels to cause pain that radiates from the back into the legs. This happens because disc herniations at these levels can potentially compress the L4, L5, and S1 nerve roots, which come together to form the “sciatic nerve” which runs down the back of each leg.
An episode of “radicular pain”, more commonly known as sciatica, typically lasts 6-8 weeks. During that time, conservative treatments are often helpful. These include:
- Physical Therapy
- Ant-inflammatory medications
- Oral Steroids
- Epidural Injections
- Limiting strenuous activity, but not remaining bed (or sofa) bound
If your pain has not been reduced in that time period, or you are having severe neurological problems with numbness and weakness, bowel or bladder changes, surgery may be indicated.
The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis, can affect any joint in the body, but most often afflicts the knees, hips, and fingers. Most people will develop osteoarthritis from the normal wear and tear on the joints through the years. Joints contain cartilage, a rubbery material that cushions the ends of bones and facilitates movement. Over time, or if the joint has been injured, the cartilage wears away and the bones of the joint start rubbing together. As bones rub together, bone spurs may form and the joint becomes stiff after long periods of activity or inactivity.