Frozen Shoulder – What it is and treatment

Frozen shoulder (Adhesive capsulitis)

A Frozen Shoulder is a condition we see a lot of, as massage can play a big role in the solution.ucx.frozen.shoulder
It seems to come from nowhere. Often there is little or no injury and there are really no specific shoulder tests to determine if you have a frozen shoulder. A frozen shoulder can be a scary experience and it may be a cause of shoulder pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint, which can limit the functional use of your arm.

It usually occurs slowly over time, in three distinct stages. Each of these stages can last for many months or in some cases, years.

Freezing (painful stage) – This stage can last from two to four months and is very painful. During this stage the shoulder movement is greatly reduced and any movement of the shoulder is very painful as adhesions are formed between the head of the humerus and the joint capsule.

Frozen – This stage can last from four months to a year. The range of motion is severely limited but the pain usually starts to subside. The joint capsule thickens and essentially glues itself to the humeral head (head of humerus bone which forms one of the surfaces for shoulder joint).

Thawing – During this stage the condition begins to resolve spontaneously. The shoulder movement improves and there is no pain. This process may take a long time; a year or more is not unusual.

When you have Frozen_Shoulder_Adhesive_Capsulitisa frozen shoulder, shoulder pain and tightness may make it difficult to reach overhead to perform such simple activities like putting away dishes or combing your hair. Females may have difficulty reaching behind your back to fasten your bra. Men might have a hard time reaching into their back pocket to grab their wallet. Putting on a belt may be painful as well. You may also lose the ability to lift your arm to the side. The back and neck muscles start to ache as they try to compensate for the limited shoulder movement.

Although the exact cause is unknown, certain factors may increase the risk of getting frozen shoulder. These can include:

Age – frozen shoulder can affect anyone at any age, but it is seen mostly among middle aged women.

Diabetes – for unknown reasons, frozen shoulder is more common in people with diabetes.

Immobility – people who have experienced prolonged immobility of their shoulder, due to trauma, overuse injuries or surgery, may develop frozen shoulder.

Systemic diseases – people with systemic disease, such as an overactive/underactive thyroid, cardiovascular disease or Parkinson’s disease are more commonly at risk.

The care is initially aimed at reducing the inflammation and pain. Various treatment methods are used to help, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, ultrasound, heat, massage, stretching. Steroid injections and nerve blocks have also been used at times, but the effectiveness of these therapies can vary from patient to patient.


Some home exercises for frozen shoulder (The effects will vary person to person).
(Be advised you need to see your health professional first to complete a thorough assessment to prescribe appropriate exercises)

Albury Branch

"The Space"
Level One,
490 David St
Albury NSW, 2640

Ph. 0427 369570