Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that affects the shoulder joint, causing pain and stiffness. Frozen shoulder most commonly affects women and those between 50-60 years old. This condition usually develops gradually with global limitation of shoulder range of motion. The exact cause of frozen shoulder is not known, but is believed to be the result of inflammation and scarring of the shoulder joint’s capsule.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS OF FROZEN SHOULDER?
- Thyroid disease
- Heart disease
- Autoimmune disease
- Prolonged immobilization
- Shoulder injury or surgery
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF FROZEN SHOULDER?
Initial phase: diffuse, severe, disabling shoulder pain that is worse at night with increasing stiffness that can last for 2-9 months.
Intermediate phase: stiffness with loss of range of motion, but pain can become gradually less pronounced, that lasts for 4-12 months
Recovery phase: recovery phase with gradual return of range of motion, that can take from 5-24 months to complete
HOW IS FROZEN SHOULDER DIAGNOSED?
- Review of medical history and physical examination
- Imaging modalities
- Diagnostic injections
HOW IS FROZEN SHOULDER TREATED?
Treatment options may include:
- Physical therapy
- Over-the-counter or prescription medications to reduce inflammation
- Therapeutic injections: steroid or regenerative injections
- Surgical intervention
HOW DO YOU PREVENT FROZEN SHOULDER?
- Stretching regularly
- Maintaining a good posture
- Avoiding repetitive overhead motions
If you are experiencing shoulder pain, it is important to have an evaluation by a healthcare provider for the proper diagnosis and treatment plan. With the right treatment plan, it is possible to manage the symptoms of frozen shoulder and improve your overall quality of life.