Frozen shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis) is a condition where pain and stiffness develop in the joint to such an extent that the patient finds it difficult to move their arm. This pain and stiffness usually starts gradually, worsens over time and often resolves itself. However, this can take many months.
The bones, ligaments and tendons that make up your shoulder joint are encased in a capsule of connective tissue. Frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint, restricting its movement.
Often there is no obvious cause, although it’s more likely to occur in the following people:
- Aged over 40,
- Those with prolonged, restricted mobility caused by surgery, broken arm, stroke etc,
- Those with Diabetes, Parkinson’s or Thyroid issues.
Most frozen shoulder treatment involves controlling the pain and encouraging as much movement in the joint as possible. Regular massage therapy is very beneficial in this treatment as it increases the blood circulation to the injured region and also reduces the formation of scar tissue. Heat therapy is also very helpful and can be applied before or after a massage. Frozen shoulders often get better on their own within 12 to 18 months. I have attached a picture of some exercises that may help to keep your shoulder joint mobile. If you suspect that a frozen shoulder is developing, please seek medical advice.