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What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is a condition in which the capsule of the joint thickens and stiffens, and shoulder movements become painful and limited.

While there is no known cause of frozen shoulder, it is important to recognize the symptoms and treat them before they become a serious problem. Physical therapy can help people with frozen shoulder relieve their pain and return to their previous activities. The physiotherapist helps the patient to perform certain exercises and to restore the range of motion of his shoulder to a normal state.

People with adhesive capsulitis usually benefit from the help of a physical therapist. Available treatments are used to both relieve pain and improve range of motion. The physical therapist will likely use a variety of treatment methods to improve the patient’s range of motion and make them more comfortable.

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is a condition that affects your shoulder joint. It usual starts with a gradual increase in pain and stiffness that will get worse at first and then finally go away. This can take up to as long as three years or last as short as one year.

Frozen shoulder is a condition that can cause severe pain in the shoulder. But this is not the only reason for severe shoulder pain. Shoulder pain may be caused by the shoulder joint itself or any of the surrounding muscles, ligaments, or tendons. However, joint pain usually worsens with activity or movement of the arm and shoulder.

Various diseases that affect organs in the chest or abdomen can also cause pain in the shoulder.

how frozen shoulder happen

Primary frozen shoulder is an idiopathic complication of unknown etiology. Secondary frozen shoulder may occur as a result of other diseases such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, heart diseases and Parkinson’s or as a result of long-term immobilization of the shoulder (such as the recovery period after a fracture or surgery).

People who have immobilized their shoulder for a long time after surgery or a fracture are at a higher risk of developing this condition. Also, the prevalence of this complication is higher in women between 40 and 65 years old. Having frozen shoulder on one side can increase your risk of developing this condition on the other shoulder by 34%.


A doctor can often diagnose frozen shoulder with a physical examination, but in some cases, he uses X-ray or MRI imaging. to rule out other similar problems such as arthritis. Because other diseases can also cause pain and limitation of movement. Treatments recommended by your doctor include pain relievers such as ibuprofen or stronger pain relievers, physical therapy, and specific exercises. If these treatments do not help, surgery is the next treatment option.

Physiotherapy for frozen shoulder is an effective way to speed up the patient’s recovery. First, a physiotherapist evaluates the condition of your shoulder and then uses several methods (heat therapy, electrotherapy and massage) to increase the range of motion of the shoulder. With the help of physiotherapy, you can do your daily activities as before and your pain will be reduced.

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of frozen shoulder are:

  • Pain and stiffness
  • Dull or achy pain in one shoulder
  • Pain in the shoulder muscles around the top of your arm
  • Pain might get increased at night

There are usually three phases when it comes to frozen shoulder:

Phase 1: Freezing Stage

You will develop a pain in your shoulder any time you move it, and it will slowly get worse over time. You get limited in how far you can move your shoulder. This can last from six to nine months.

Phase 2: Frozen Stage

Your pain might decrease, but the stiffness will get worse. Moving your shoulder will become more difficult and it will be hard to do regular, everyday activities. This stage can last from four to twelve months.

Phase 3: Thawing Stage

Your range of motion will slowly go back to normal. This stage can take six months to two years.

Causes of frozen shoulder?

There is no true concrete reason as to what causes frozen shoulder, but studies have shown that there are specific groups that are more at risk:

  1. More likely to occur in women than men
  2. More likely to get it if you are between 40 to 60 years old
  3. More at risk if you are in the process of recovering from a stroke/surgery
  4. More at risk if you have certain medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and thyroid disease