Definition: Frozen shoulder is a condition of varying severity characterised by the gradual development of general limitation of active and passive shoulder movements with significant disruptions of daily living, work and leisure. The condition is a self-limiting condition that is also characterised by severe shoulder pain.
- Diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2
- Thyroid disease
- Prolonged immobilisation
- Secondary shoulder injuries
Who is more likely to be affected
The condition is most common in the fifth and sixth decades of life, with the peak age in the mid 50’s. Experiencing frozen shoulder before the age of 40 is unlikely but there have been reported cases.
Characteristic / presentation
Initial phase of frozen shoulder would be a progressive stiffness with severe and disabling pain that is worse at night and increasing stiffness that lasts for two to nine months. There are varying degrees of impaired function such as reaching behind your back, reaching over head, and reaching out to the side.
The next intermediate phase is stiffness and severe loss of shoulder motion with the pain being less pronounced. Finally, a recovery phase with a gradual return of range of motion that can take up 24 months.
Management for frozen shoulder
- Gentle range of motion exercises provided by your health care practitioner
- Active and passive stretching
- Manual therapy to help reduce pain
- Intraarticular glucocorticoid injection followed by physical therapy
Frozen shoulder can be a debilitating and severe condition. However it is a self-limiting condition. Exercise therapy with manual therapy have shown to have some benefits to help pain and to re-gain global range of motion. If you need help, advice or some more information please contact us and we will be more than happy to help!