Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder at a Glance

Frozen shoulder, medically termed as adhesive capsulitis, is a painful condition of the shoulder that causes immobility of the shoulder joint. The prevalence of this condition is not common. Less than two percent of the general population suffers from frozen shoulder.

The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint composed by humerus or upper arm bone, scapula or shoulder blade and clavicle or collar bone. The joint is surrounded by a strong connective tissue, called shoulder capsule. A network of muscles and tendons provide stability and strength to the joint.

In frozen shoulder, the shoulder capsule is contracted and a scar tissue is formed. Chief symptom of frozen shoulder is the immobility of the joint. The patient is unable to move shoulder neither himself, nor with anybody’s help. Usually, the symptoms of frozen shoulder have three stages:

Painful or Freezing Stage

This stage may last from two to nine months and is usually very painful. The pain, stiffness, and range of motion gradually worsen.

Frozen Stage

In this stage, the pain may ease up but stiffness doesn’t. As a result, performing everyday tasks is very difficult. This stage may last for 4-6 months.


In this stage, the range of motion steadily improves over a period of time. Complete recovery may take from one to two years.

Risk Factors

It is not clear, why some people have frozen shoulder; however, there are certain risk factors that increase your chances of developing frozen shoulder.

Age and Gender

It commonly occurs in adults of age group 40 to 60. The women are more likely to suffer with frozen shoulder than men.

Immobilization of the Joint

Prolonged immobility of the shoulder joint commonly due to trauma, arthritis or following a shoulder surgery may cause this condition to develop.

Certain Diseases

People with certain diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and cardiovascular diseases are at higher risk of developing frozen shoulder.



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