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 69 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Manipulation under anesthesia versus physiotherapy treatment in stage two of a frozen shoulder: a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.
 

Author(s): Tim Kraal, Bertram The, Ronald Boer, M P van den Borne, Koen Koenraadt, Pjotr Goossens, Denise Eygendaal

Journal:

 

There is no consensus about the optimal treatment strategy for frozen shoulders (FS). Conservative treatment consisting of intra-articular corticosteroid infiltrations and physiotherapy are considered appropriate for most patients. However, with a conservative strategy, patients experience ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Predicting outcome in frozen shoulder (shoulder capsulitis) in presence of comorbidity as measured with subjective health complaints and neuroticism.
 

Author(s): Satya Pal Sharma, Rolf Moe-Nilssen, Alice Kvåle, Anders Bærheim

Journal:

 

There is a substantive lack of knowledge about comorbidity in patients with frozen shoulder. The aim of this study was to investigate whether subjective health complaints and Neuroticism would predict treatment outcome in patients diagnosed with frozen shoulder as measured by the ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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A Study of , , , and Polymorphisms and Their Association with Primary Frozen Shoulder in a Chinese Han Population.
 

Author(s): Wenxiang Chen, Jia Meng, Hong Qian, Zhantao Deng, Shuo Chen, Haidong Xu, Wenshuang Sun, Yiying Wang, Jianning Zhao, Nirong Bao

Journal: Biomed Res Int. 2017 ;2017():3681645.

 

Primary frozen shoulder (PFS) is a common condition of uncertain etiology that is characterized by shoulder pain and restriction of active and passive glenohumeral motions. The pathophysiology involves chronic inflammation and fibrosis of the joint capsule. Single nucleotide polymorphisms ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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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:

The pathophysiology associated with primary (idiopathic) frozen shoulder: A systematic review.
 

Author(s): Victoria Ryan, Hazel Brown, Catherine J Minns Lowe, Jeremy S Lewis

Journal:

 

Frozen shoulder is a common yet poorly understood musculoskeletal condition, which for many, is associated with substantial and protracted morbidity. Understanding the pathology associated with this condition may help to improve management. To date this has not been presented in a ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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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: 31 Dec 1969

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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: 31 Dec 1969

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Last Updated: 14 May 2018

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Pulsed Radiofrequency for Frozen Shoulder Chronic Pain (PRFFSCP)
 

Status: Not yet recruiting

Condition Summary: Frozen Shoulder

 

Last Updated: 4 Mar 2018

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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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