Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by pain and loss of motion in the shoulder joint. It is more common in older adults between the ages of 40 and 60 years and is more common in women than men.
Frozen shoulder is caused by inflammation of the ligaments holding the shoulder bones to each other. The shoulder capsule becomes thick, tight, and the stiff bands of tissue called adhesions may develop. Individuals with shoulder injury, shoulder surgeries, shoulder immobilized for long periods of time, other disease conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Parkinson’s disease and cardiac diseases are at risk of developing a frozen shoulder.
Frozen shoulder may cause pain and stiffness and limit the movements of the shoulder.
Frozen shoulder condition can be diagnosed by the presenting symptoms and radiological diagnostic procedures, such as X-rays or MRI scans.
Conservative treatment options include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections for pain
- Physical therapy to improve your range of motion
- Sometimes heat may be applied to reduce pain
Your surgeon may recommend shoulder arthroscopy when the conservative treatment does not work. During surgery, the scar tissue will be removed and tight ligaments, if any, will be dissected. Following surgery physical therapy will be advised to bring full range of motion and strengthen the muscles.