Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is the common term for a disorder called adhesive capsulitis. This disease is characterized by motionless shoulders sometimes accompanied by pain or stiffness. About two in every Americans suffer from this disorder although the causes are not totally understood. It occurs when the capsule encompassing the shoulder joint is contracted and thickened. The good news is that frozen shoulder is a condition that is fairly easy to diagnose. Since these symptoms could also signify the presence of a rotator cuff injury, you should consult your doctor. He will give you an exam and possibly order an X-ray or MRI to give you a proper diagnosis.

People with diabetes are most at risk for frozen shoulder. Although doctors can’t really determine a clear-cut cause for this disorder, it has been noted that there are other medical problems linked to it. People with such conditions as cardiac disease, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, or Parkinson’s have been more prone to suffer from frozen shoulder. If you think you may have the early stages of this disorder, consulting a doctor for instruction on how to keep the shoulder mobile after injury may help you avoid this uncomfortable problem.


Frozen shoulder is not characterized by sharp, searing pains. In fact, the pain associated with this order is usually more of a dull ache. Patients often report that attempting to move the arm only intensifies the pain. Patients suffering from frozen shoulder can not move the shoulder normally. Doctors have said that this disorder actually has three phases. The first phase has been dubbed “freezing”. This marks the beginning of the shoulder pain. Lasting anywhere from six weeks to nine months, this is the beginning of an uncomfortable problem.


Phase two of frozen shoulder is the “frozen’ stage. Although a patient may be reporting a bit of decline in pain levels, the stiffness persists and continues anywhere from four to nine months.
The last and final phase of frozen shoulder is the “thawing” stage. This is a slow process, generally ranging between 5 months and a more than two years, this is where motion in the shoulder slowly begins to return to normal.


Although frozen shoulder is an uncomfortable and sometimes frustrating disorder that can linger for two or three years, the condition usually rectifies itself. You will get better on your own, eventually. The main issue is to remain comfortable until that time arrives. Your doctor may recommend an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen. In more extreme cases, you may want to enroll in some sort of physical therapy to help restore motion to your shoulder.
If you are experiencing any type of back, neck, or shoulder pain, be sure that you are sleeping on the proper bedding. Choose a mattress that is comfortable and a pillow that provides the right support for proper spine alignment. Consult with your doctor about the pain you are having since it could be the indication of something more serious than frozen shoulder.