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Blog: Frozen Shoulders

Published: July 13, 2020

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen Shoulder or Adhesive Capsulitis is a condition where the capsule of the shoulder joint becomes inflamed and proceeds to thicken and tighten causing pain and restriction of movement to the shoulder.

Frozen Shoulder develops slowly and in three stages:

1) Freezing stage: The range of movement starts to decrease but the main complaint is pain with movement and pain at night. This stage typically lasts 2-9 months.

2) Frozen stage: The pain starts to lessen however the shoulder becomes stiffer or “freezes”. This stage typically lasts anywhere from 6 months to 12 months

3) Thawing stage: The range of movement starts to improve. This stage typically lasts anywhere from 6 months to 12 months

As you can see Frozen Shoulder can be a debilitating injury that can last up to 3 years.

So what causes it??

Primarily, onset is generally idiopathic - which means it comes on for no attributable reason. However, a secondary Frozen Shoulder is more likely to occur in:

- those with diabetes

- those who have recently injured their shoulder

- those who have had to immobilize their shoulder post fracture or stroke

- females

- those aged between 35-65 years old with an occurrence rate of 2-5% of the general population

After an injury there may be altered movement patterns to protect the painful structures, which will in turn change the motor control of the shoulder, reduce the range of motion and possibly lead to the freezing.This is why physiotherapy is so important following a shoulder injury or immobilization.

At Back in Motion Malvern, our physiotherapy team will be able to assess your shoulder and give you the right treatment to get you back doing what you love in no time! If you have any further questions or queries, please feel free to get in contact with us on 9509 0995 to organise a Free Initial Assessment.