Frozen shoulder overview

This shoulder condition is a loss of motion or stiffness in the shoulder, usually accompanied by pain in the joint. Frozen shoulder is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 60, but it can afflict anyone regardless of gender, arm preference or occupation.

Causes of frozen shoulder

The exact cause of this condition is not fully understood. It involves swelling or contraction of the glenohumeral ligaments which form a capsule around the shoulder joint. This condition can occur after the shoulder has been immobilized for a long period of time and it is more prevalent in those who suffer from diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism.

Frozen shoulder symptoms

The main symptom is limited motion or stiffness in the shoulder. Many patients also experience a dull or aching pain on the outside of the shoulder or the upper arm. This condition commonly improves on its own, but it can take up to three years for the full motion to return to the shoulder. Oftentimes, full motion of the shoulder does not return.

Treatment for the frozen shoulder

Common treatment options include anti-inflammatory medications, stretching exercises, and physical therapy. In severe cases, where full motion does not return to the shoulder, frozen shoulder surgery may be required.