Frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Adhesive Capsulitis (AC), also known as Frozen Shoulder, is a painful and debilitating condition which restricts the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint movement. It often starts off with a slight pain and stiffness in the shoulder which gradually worsens, making it difficult and painful to exert movements which require the shoulder such as reaching above your head.

In the early stages of developing a frozen shoulder, patients will often experience extreme pain at night which interrupts and disturbs their sleep. Lack of sleep can cause its own pain and depression therefore the treatment for a frozen shoulder is focused on relieving pain so patients can sleep better and restore the shoulder’s normal range of motion.

What are the stages of a Frozen Shoulder? And who is more likely to get it? 

The symptoms of a frozen shoulder are classified into three main stages. 

Frozen shoulder has three stages 

Stage 1- Freezing: Pain gradually increases and shoulder motion becomes increasingly hard

Stage 2- Frozen: Pain may decrease but shoulder remains stiff with restricted movement

Stage 3- Thawing: Pain may fade but may also return occasionally and movement becomes easier. 

Frozen shoulder tends to recover slowly and may worsen rather than improve. It predominantly affects people aged between 40 to 60 years and approximately 70% of people with a frozen shoulder are women. Additionally, people with diabetes are more likely to develop a frozen shoulder. 

Causes

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