What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, is dysfunction of the shoulder joint as a result of shoulder tendons and ligaments tightening.

Its progression runs a two- to three-year course:

  • Freezing/painful stage (six to nine months)
  • Frozen (four to six months)
  • Thawing (six months to two years)

Should I Suspect Frozen Shoulder?

The shoulder pendulum is one of the home exercises prescribed as part of physical therapy for frozen shoulder.

Sufferers of frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, report symptoms of:

  • Pain while at rest
  • Pain while moving
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Progressive loss of motion (the “freezing” phase) over several months
  • Limited function and range of motion

Unlike other shoulder conditions, frozen shoulder may seem to develop without reason. Other times, symptoms may occur in as soon as a few days or as long as a few years after after tendinitis or other injury, surgery, or illness that restricts movement.

Will I Get Frozen Shoulder?

While adhesive capsulitis affects 2-5 percent of the population, adults between the ages of 40 and 65 are most likely to develop it. Women are more likely to suffer from this condition than men.  Other risk factors associated with adhesive capsulitis are diabetes and thyroid disease.

How Physical Therapy Helps

Physical therapy combines education, mobility, and therapeutic exercise in order to help patients get better. Other aspects of a care plan may include manual therapy and heat. Treatment helps lead to faster recovery of function and motion.

Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy
https://www.jospt.org/doi/full/10.2519/jospt.2013.0503 accessed September 9, 2019.
Medical News Today
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/166186.php, accessed October 28, 2019