Frozen shoulder (also known as ‘adhesive capsulitis’) is a condition that leads to pain and stiffness around the shoulder joint. Mostly occurring in women aged 35-60 years old, it happens when the capsule around the shoulder joint gets inflamed, thickens, and tightens. Movement of the shoulder is restricted especially movements like raising your arm above the head, or reaching behind your back to put on a shirt.
The typical symptoms have 3 phases:
What can be done?
Physiotherapy is important to prevent further wasting of muscles around the shoulder joint due to poor movement. If muscles waste further, it makes regaining movement of the shoulder back difficult. The stretches and strengthening exercises given will also encourage recovery of the shoulder through the three phases. ESWT will also be used to promote healing.
Can this be prevented?
The most common cause of frozen shoulders are an injury to the shoulders (e.g. falls on an outstretched hand or on the shoulder, getting hit on the shoulder), triggering the inflammatory response. Having good strength in the shoulders and midback can help to minimise the chances of it happening in case an accident like a fall does happen.