Frozen shoulder

Common Name(s)

Frozen shoulder, Adhesive capsulitis

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition where a person’s shoulder joint is stiff and painful. The pain and stiffness may worsen over a period of one or two years and then resolve. Frozen shoulder usually occurs in three phases. Phase one may include pain with any movement of your shoulder. The pain may limit your shoulder’s range of motion. Some people experience more pain at night and this may make it hard to sleep. During the frozen phase, pain may decrease, but the shoulder will feel stiff and be difficult to move. The thawing phase is when stiffness deceases and the range of motion in your shoulder starts to improve.

The ligaments, tendons, and bones in your shoulder joint are covered in a capsule of connective tissue. When this capsule thickens and tightens in the shoulder joint, it causes limited movement. The exact reason for frozen shoulder is unknown to doctors, but certain factors may increase your risk of developing frozen shoulder.

Frozen shoulder is more likely to occur in individuals 40 and older. It is also more common for women to develop this condition. Individuals who have prolonged immobility or reduced mobility of their shoulder are more likely to develop frozen shoulder. Immobility risk factors may include rotator cuff injury, broken arm, stroke, and recovery from surgery. Individuals who have diabetes, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), cardiovascular disease, tuberculosis, and Parkinson’s disease may be predisposed to develop frozen shoulder. Doctors perform a physical exam to evaluate pain and range of motion. Treatment options may include over-the-counter pain relievers, physical therapy, and for persistent symptoms it may include steroid injections, joint distension, shoulder manipulation and surgery. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with frozen shoulder, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options.

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Frozen shoulder" for support, advocacy or research.

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General Support Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Frozen shoulder" returned 72 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Clinical correlation of metabolic parameters on (18)F-FDG PET/CT in idiopathic frozen shoulder.
 

Author(s): Kyoung Sook Won, Du Hwan Kim, Duk Hyun Sung, Bong-Il Song, Hae Won Kim, Kwang-Soon Song, Si-Wook Lee, Chul-Hyun Cho

Journal: Ann Nucl Med. 2017 Apr;31(3):211-217.

 

Because positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) using fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) can be used to visualize inflammation of the musculoskeletal system, it may help elucidate the pathophysiology of frozen shoulder (FS). The purpose of this study was ...

Last Updated: 7 Feb 2017

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Range of motion of diabetic frozen shoulder recovers to the contralateral level.
 

Author(s): Heidi Vastamäki, Leena Ristolainen, Martti Vastamäki

Journal: J. Int. Med. Res.. 2016 Dec;44(6):1191-1199.

 

Objective To determine whether frozen shoulder heals equally well in patients with and without diabetes and whether dependency on insulin affects the outcome. Methods We retrospectively examined 178 patients with idiopathic frozen shoulder; 27 patients had diabetes. We evaluated range ...

Last Updated: 18 Nov 2016

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Motor Ingredients Derived from a Wearable Sensor-Based Virtual Reality System for Frozen Shoulder Rehabilitation.
 

Author(s): Si-Huei Lee, Shih-Ching Yeh, Rai-Chi Chan, Shuya Chen, Geng Yang, Li-Rong Zheng

Journal: Biomed Res Int. 2016 ;2016():7075464.

 

Objective. This study aims to extract motor ingredients through data mining from wearable sensors in a virtual reality goal-directed shoulder rehabilitation (GDSR) system and to examine their effects toward clinical assessment. Design. A single-group before/after comparison. Setting. ...

Last Updated: 19 Sep 2016

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Frozen shoulder" returned 7 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Primary frozen shoulder: brief review of pathology and imaging abnormalities.
 

Author(s): Kazuya Tamai, Miwa Akutsu, Yuichiro Yano

Journal: J Orthop Sci. 2014 Jan;19(1):1-5.

 

Primary frozen shoulder (FS) is a painful contracture of the glenohumeral joint that arises spontaneously without an obvious preceding event. Investigation of the intra-articular and periarticular pathology would contribute to the treatment of primary FS.

Last Updated: 24 Jan 2014

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Management of frozen shoulder: a systematic review and cost-effectiveness analysis.
 

Author(s): E Maund, D Craig, S Suekarran, Ar Neilson, K Wright, S Brealey, L Dennis, L Goodchild, N Hanchard, A Rangan, G Richardson, J Robertson, C McDaid

Journal: Health Technol Assess. 2012 ;16(11):1-264.

 

Frozen shoulder is condition in which movement of the shoulder becomes restricted. It can be described as either primary (idiopathic) whereby the aetiology is unknown, or secondary, when it can be attributed to another cause. It is commonly a self-limiting condition, of approximately ...

Last Updated: 12 Mar 2012

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A review on frozen shoulder.
 

Author(s): P L Wong, H C Tan

Journal: Singapore Med J. 2010 Sep;51(9):694-7.

 

Of all the joints in the human body, the shoulder has the greatest range of motion. This allows complex movements and functions to be carried out, and is of vital importance to the activities of daily living and work. Any restriction or pain that involves the joint puts a huge amount ...

Last Updated: 12 Oct 2010

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

A Central Nervous System Focused Treatment Approach for Frozen Shoulder
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Adhesive Capsulitis of Shoulder; Frozen Shoulder

 

Last Updated: 29 Oct 2017

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Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy on Diabetes Related Frozen Shoulder
 

Status: Not yet recruiting

Condition Summary: Frozen Shoulder; Diabetes Mellitus

 

Last Updated: 12 Jun 2017

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Manipulation Under Anesthesia Versus Arthroscopic Capsular Release in the Treatment of Adhesive Capsulitis
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Adhesive Capsulitis of the Shoulder

 

Last Updated: 17 Nov 2016

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