A Patient’s Guide To Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is one of the most common causes for pain in the thickening and contraction of the shoulder joint capsule and formation of adhesions, which cause pain, and loss of movement characterize frozen shoulder. It is common in diabetics and commonly affects the non-dominant arm. The causes of frozen shoulder are not fully understood. There is no clear connection to arm dominance or occupation. A few factors may put you more at risk for developing frozen shoulder.

Most common causes for frozen shoulder are:


Phases of frozen shoulder:

There are 3 commonly recognised phases of frozen shoulder.

Diagnosis of frozen shoulder:

Frozen Shoulder


The focus of treatment is to control pain and restore motion and strength. Conservative management of frozen shoulder aims to restore the normal range of motion.

Pain relief:


Physiotherapy treatment for patients with this condition is vital to hasten the healing process and ensure an optimal outcome. Physiotherapists use a combination of manual therapy and a personalized home exercise program aimed at improving the range of motion.

Surgical management:

If the frozen shoulder does not respond to non-surgical treatment, then surgery to release or stretch the scar tissue is an option. The most common methods include shoulder arthroscopy to release the adhesions.

Manipulation, under anaesthesia, is a procedure that allows the surgeon to move the arm to break up the adhesions.

If you’re suffering from a frozen shoulder, get in touch with your local PhysioActive clinic to arrange an appointment.

Thanks for reading!

This post has been written by PhysioActive physiotherapist Ram Peruvemba MPT, BPT - Physiotherapist, Manual Therapist, Sports Therapist

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