It is also known as adhesive capsulitis.

The term “frozen shoulder” is often used incorrectly for arthritis but these two conditions are unrelated.

It commonly affects people aged between 40 and 60 years, and it is more likely in women than in men. It is estimated to affect about 3 % of people. It can affect one or both shoulders.

Symptoms and stages:

A person with a frozen shoulder will have a persistently painful and stiff shoulder joint.

Signs and symptoms develop gradually, and usually resolve on their own.

Symptoms are usually classified in 3 stages, as they worsen gradually and then resolve within a 2- to 3-year period.

  • Freezing, or painful stage: Pain increases gradually, making shoulder motion harder and harder. Pain tends to be worse at night. This stage can last from 6 weeks to 9 months.
  • Frozen: Pain does not worsen, and it may decrease at this stage. The shoulder remains stiff. It can last from 4 to 6 months, and movement may be restricted.
  • Thawing: Movement gets easier and may eventually return to normal. Pain may fade but occasionally recur. This takes between 6 months and 2 years.

Over 90 percent of people find that with simple exercises and pain control, symptoms improve. A frozen shoulder normally recovers, but it can take 3 years.


The shoulder is made up of three bones: The shoulder blade, the collarbone, and the upper arm bone or humerus.

The shoulder has a ball-and-socket joint. The round head of the upper arm bone fits into this socket. Connective tissue, known as the shoulder capsule, surrounds this joint. Synovial fluid enables the joint to move without friction.

Frozen shoulder is thought to happen when scar tissue forms in the shoulder. This causes the shoulder joint capsule to thicken and tighten, leaving less room for movement. Movement may become stiff and painful. The exact cause is not fully understood, and it cannot always be identified. The condition is common in people with diabetes.


Doctors will most likely diagnose frozen shoulder based on signs, symptoms, and a physical exam.

The severity of frozen shoulder is determined by a basic test in which a doctor presses and moves certain parts of the arm and shoulder.

Structural problems can only be identified with the help of imaging tests, such as an X-ray or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)


There are several ways to relieve pain and relieve the condition.

Painkillers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may reduce inflammation and alleviate mild pain.

Hot or cold compression packs: These can help reduce pain and swelling. Alternating between the two may help.

Corticosteroid injections: A type of steroid hormone that reduces pain and swelling, these may be injected into the shoulder joint to alleviate pain.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): This works by numbing the nerve endings in the spinal cord that control pain.

Physical therapy: This can provide training in exercises to maintain as much mobility and flexibility as possible without straining the shoulder or causing too much pain.

Shoulder arthroscopy: A minimally invasive type of surgery used in a small percentage of cases. A small endoscope, or tube, is inserted through a small incision into the shoulder joint to remove any scar tissue or adhesions.

The doctor will suggest a suitable option depending on the severity of signs and symptoms.


Symptoms of frozen shoulder include persistent pain in the upper shoulder joint.

Frequent, gentle exercise can prevent and possibly reverse stiffness in the shoulder.

Exercises should be guided by a doctor, an osteopath, or a physical therapist.

Anyone experiencing stiffness in the shoulder joint should seek medical attention sooner rather than later to prevent permanent stiffness.

Following are the exercises for relieving a frozen shoulder.

Crossover arm stretch: Holding the upper arm of the affected side, gently pull the arm across in front of you, under the chin. Hold for 30 seconds. Relax and repeat.

Pendulum stretch: Stand with the shoulders relaxed. Lean forward with the hand of the unaffected arm resting on a table. Let the affected arm hang down vertically and swing in a small circle, around 1 foot in diameter. Increase the diameter over several days, as you gain strength.

Towel stretch: Grab both ends of a towel behind your back. With the good arm, pull the towel and the affected arm, up toward the shoulder. Repeat 10 to 20 times a day.
– Dr.Chandrashekar

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s