Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)

Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)


Adhesive capsulitis, commonly called frozen shoulder, is a condition in which the capsule surrounding the head of the humerus becomes inflamed and stiff, causing decreased range of motion.


The causes of this condition are not fully understood. You may be at higher risk of developing adhesive capsulitits if you are diabetic, or have hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Parkinson’s disease, or cardiac disease. As the condition develops, there will be a significant build up of scar tissue, significant inflammation of the shoulder joint and shrinking or thickening of the shoulder joint.


Some common symptoms of a frozen shoulder include pain, stiffness, and significantly reduced range of motion compared to that of a healthy shoulder.


Some common treatment options include aggressive physical therapy, heavily reliant on range of motion exercises, as well as stretching exercises. Sometimes, the use of cortisone steroid injections can be an affective treatment as well as anti-inflammatory medications. In extreme cases, surgery can be an affective treatment in order to remove some of the adhesions and clean out the shoulder joint.