Frozen shoulder/Adhesive capsulitis

Introduction

Frozen shoulder is a common condition that leads to pain and stiffness of the shoulder. It is also known as adhesive capsulitis

Patient will typically experience shoulder pain for the first two to nine months, which can be severe, followed by increasing stiffness. The stiffness may affect patients ability to carry out everyday activities and, in particularly severe cases; patient may not be able to move shoulder at all. The condition may improve with time.

Causes

Frozen shoulder occurs when the flexible tissue that surrounds the shoulder joint, known as the capsule, becomes inflamed and thickened. It is not fully understood why this happens.

The following can increase risk of developing a frozen shoulder:

  • a previous shoulder injury or shoulder surgery
  • diabetes
  • other health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke

Most people who get frozen shoulder are between the ages of 40 and 60. The condition is more common in women than men.

Most people with frozen shoulder will eventually get better However, appropriate treatment can help reduce pain and improve the movement in shoulder until it heals.

The type of treatment patient receive will depend on how severe frozen shoulder is and how far it has progressed.

Painkillers, corticosteroid injections, shoulder exercises and physiotherapy are all possible treatment options.

If symptoms have not improved after six months, arthroscopic surgery may be recommended.