Frozen shoulder and hormones

Question

This is to alert the medical field in the event no one saw the “red” flag I did. Is research being conducted as to the connection of the Cox-1 and 2 enzymes relating to women in particular (around age 50)who develop conditions such as “frozen” shoulders? As I scanned a medical article a few years ago, I think I read that 3 or 4 organs produced the enzyme(s) with the ovaries being one of them. I was in PT for a month with a projected 6-month range for healing – it began 8 months prior with gradual increase of pain & loss of motion to the point of not raising it even to put on deoderant. Within one week after beginning hormones – Estradiol and a testosterone pellet – I had no pain and could raise my arm again. Has anyone made the connection to this ailment to hormonal levels and/or the ovaries? Women should not have to suffer along with the other symptoms of hormonal imbalance. My orthopedic doctor never mentioned there could be a tie and only recommended PT weekly with medication(Celebrex). By chance I went to an endocrinologist for menopause symtoms after one month in therapy. It was like a miracle, but the endocrinologist said he had seen it time and again with hormones exhibiting a “healing” effect. No response is necessary but I hope the medical community will look to see if the underlying cause may well be due to a hormonal imbalance and guide patients to the proper treatment. I wonder if that is the basis of many problems as we age. Thank you for “listening” and the work you do.

Answer

Hi Barb,

thanks for your thoughtful comments.  I am not aware of any data linking frozen shoulder to low levels of estrogen (or testosterone).  However, I am glad that you got better when you started the hormones.  I see a lot of women on estrogen who unfortunately still get frozen shoulder.  But, maybe you’ve identified a new question for researchers in the field !!

Joan Bathon, M.D.

About Joan Bathon, M.D.

Dr. Bathon was a Co-Deputy Director of the Division of Rheumatology at Hopkins Bayview. She was also the founder and director of the Hopkins Arthritis Center.