The goal of the treatment for frozen shoulder (medically called as adhesive capsulitis) is to ease the underlying inflammation and prevent the affected shoulder from becoming stiffer. The first-line treatment is usually non-surgical options. Some natural remedies can help, too – the following are some of these options!
A well-healthy balanced diet is one of great natural approaches to cope with lot of health conditions, including for joint problems such as adhesive capsulitis.
While some foods can aggravate the inflammation in the body, others can help ease the inflammation. So, it’s important to understand foods containing anti-inflammatory or pro-inflammatory properties.
Bad foods and ingredients you may need to avoid!
Sugar is one of the top ingredients that has been scientifically proved can trigger more excess inflammation in the body. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, sugar (particularly processed sugars) can stimulate the body to release cytokines, an inflammatory messenger.
And there are lots of products containing processed sugars. Just watch any word with end ‘ose’, such as sucrose or fructose, on the ingredient labels.
Other common ingredients and foods that can contribute to worsen the inflammation in the body include:
- Saturated fats. According to many studies, saturated fats are the major cause of high cholesterol. They also can trigger fat tissue inflammation or adipose. Foods high in saturated fats include cheese and pizza (the major source of saturated fats in the American diet), pasta dishes, full-fat dairy products, and meat products.
- Trans-fats, typically easier to be found in fried foods and fast foods such as donuts, snack foods, crackers, frozen breakfast products, and foods with partially hydrogenated oils. They are another cause of high cholesterol. Moreover, in the early 1990s researches had found that trans-fats are one of common triggers for systemic inflammation in the body.
- Refined (processed) carbohydrates, such as most cereals, white potatoes (French fries), and white flour products (crackers, rolls, breads). Refined carbohydrates may have contribution to trump fats, and also stimulate the production of AGE ‘advanced glycation’ (the inflammatory agent).
- MSG or ‘mono-sodium glutamate’, a flavor-enhancing food additive. It can trigger 2 crucial pathways of chronic inflammation.
- Alcohol! It is a burden to your liver. In fact, abusing alcohol is a common cause of liver disease. This also can disrupt other multi-organ interactions, causing excess inflammation in the body. So, it’s best to avoid alcohol. Or if you drink, do it only in moderation!
- Aspartame, an artificial sweetener! Today, this non-nutritive sweetener is so easy to be found in many products worldwide. It can be another trigger for excess inflammation in the body, especially for people who are sensitive to this chemical.
- Another bad thing that may promote more inflammation in the body is gluten and casein. Actually, they are a kind of protein, typically found in dairy & wheat products. If you have a celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten & casein, the inflammatory effect could be even worse.
Good foods to help ease inflammation
Cutting back on ingredients or foods that promote inflammation may help you cope with a frozen shoulder.
But for best result, it’s also recommended to increase the proportion of foods containing anti-inflammatory properties. What are these foods? See the following checklists!
- Fruits and vegetables, especially some that are deeply-pigmented. They are not only rich in fiber, but also great source for anti-inflammatory compounds.
- Broccoli! This veggie contains essential substance called sulforaphane that may help inhibit inflammation. Furthermore, it is rich in vitamin K and fiber.
- Fish, especially some that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (an essential inflammatory substance) such as salmon and sardines.
- Soybeans (such as edamame, tempeh, or tofu), they can be a great alternative choice if you are not a fan of fish, but still want to get the inflammation benefits from omega-3 fatty acids. Yap, soy is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber, and all these good things are essential for your overall health.
- Matcha (a high quality of green tea). We know well that tea is high in antioxidants, essential substance that can help protect the body from free radicals and lower the risk of cancer. And matcha also has another essential substance to help reduce inflammation.
- Ginger! It is a tasty spice, typically used to enhance flavor. But more studies are now found that it can be used for anti-inflammatory treatment, too. It can help ease pain and inflammation. Even according to a study, someday it could be an alternative choice or even substitute the use of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
- Extra-virgin olive oil. According to some studies, this oil has essential compound called oleocanthal that may help inhibit the production of some pro-inflammatory chemicals (especially COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes). This is the same way of how NSAIDs work.
- Berries (such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries) and cherry. All of these fruits are great source for anthocyanins. And some studies found that anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory effect.
Other foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties are onions, walnuts (high in omega-3 fatty acids), fruits high in vitamin C (such as citrus), whole grains (these grains can help lower CRP ‘C-reactive protein’, a marker of inflammation), beans (they can help reduce CRP in the blood, too).
How about heat and cold therapy? Do they work for coping with the inflammation of frozen shoulder?
Some doctors recommend both heat and cold therapy to help ease pain, improve stiffness, and reduce inflammation in people with adhesive capsulitis.