Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is also called Adhesive capsulitis.  It is the loss of both passive and active range of motion as the shoulder feels stiff and the shoulder movement is very painful. The Frozen shoulder starts gradually and worsens over time. It usually gets cured within one to three years going from different stages.

Reccurrence of the Frozen Shoulder condition in same shoulder is rare though the condition could affect the other shoulder of the person.

Cause of Frozen Shoulder

As per study, women are more prone to Frozen Shoulder than men. Also, the condition is common between and the age range of 40 and 60 but could also be seen in males and other age group persons. The typical cause of the shoulder freeze is not clear. But therisk of Frozen Shoulder arises with the following:

  • Shoulder injury history which restrict the motion of the shoulder
  • Shoulder surgery which leads to immobilization of shoulder till recovery starts
  • Certain diseases like (but not limited to)Diabetes and Arthritis
  • Any other condition which has immobilized the shoulder for long enough

Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder

The main symptoms of the frozen shoulder include:

  • Stiffness in the shoulder
  • Inability to outstretch the shoulder, for example to reach to a higher spot or the backi.e doing daily activities like combing hairs, wearing T-shirts from overhead.
  • Pain that goes worse in cold weather and night
  • Pain reaching from shoulder to the neck

There are three stages of the condition:

    1. Stage one – The “freezing“: This most painful stage. This lasts up to 6 months. The shoulder movement is the least in this stage.
    2. Stage two – The “adhesive”: There is a slow improvement in the pain but the shoulder movement is still stiff. This stage also generally lasts up to 6 months.
    3. Stage three – The “thawing“:It’s when the shoulder freeze starts to give up and the motion comes back. This may take up to 1-2years.


The diagnosis is straight forward. It starts with examining the associated history and physical examination. The shoulder motion is examined by movement to understand the stiffness and the limit of current shoulder movement.

X-Rays and MRIs might be recommended to rule out the chances of factures or tissue damages around the shoulder area. Small factures or tissue damages might also be restricting the shoulder motion due to pain.

Frozen Shoulder Treatment and Recovery

  • Prevention is better than cure. This saying fits best for the frozen shoulder condition. One of the most frequent reasons of frozen shoulder is shoulder immobility which could be for multiple reasons. Any precautions necessary should be taken to not have the shoulder sit without moving a lot for a long time.
  • Guided regular Physiotherapy is the best treatment for the frozen shoulder. The treatment is for relief from the stiffness and pain and to regain the normal motion of the shoulder.
  • Medication to relieve from inflammation and for pain relief is advised as per the stage and associated injuries
  • Injectables and hydro-dilution are another methods of treatment and it can be done on OPD basis.
  • Surgery to treat the Frozen Shoulder is rare as the condition is treatable with patience.

Dr. Parth Agrawal is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in upper limb treatments like FrozenShoulder. Dr. ParthAgrawal isavailable at The Upper Limb Clinic, Thane.

The Upper Limb Clinic, Thane west, is dedicated clinic for all diseases related to Knee, Hand, Shoulder, Elbow and Wrist. Contact us today for FrozenShoulder issuesto get better and accurate treatment.