Frozen Shoulder

Dr. Ayush PandeyMBBS,PG Diploma

December 01, 2018

March 06, 2020

Frozen Shoulder
Frozen Shoulder

What is frozen shoulder?

Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) is a condition that results in pain or discomfort due to rigidity in the shoulders. It causes marked limitation of shoulder movements with no apparent cause. Globally, the prevalence of frozen shoulder is found to be 2%-3%. It most commonly occurs in the age group of 40-70 years and is more likely to affect women than men.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

There are three phases that characterise frozen shoulder:

  • Freezing stage
  • Frozen stage
  • Thawing stage

Typical symptoms include:

  • Shoulder stiffness
  • Chronic pain
  • Lack of shoulder movements due to discomfort
  • Unbearable pain at night

What are its main causes?

The causative factors of frozen shoulder are not known. It is typically observed in individuals with high blood sugar levels. It can also be seen in people with high or low thyroid hormone levels, psychomotor disability, and cardiac (heart) malfunction. Bedridden patients are at a higher risk of developing a frozen shoulder.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Physically examining the patient is the primary step in diagnosing this condition. Imaging can be done to exclude other possibilities. Most commonly, X-rays and MRI scans are used to detect any abnormalities of the bone.


Non-surgical methods include:

  • NSAIDs can help in reducing pain and discomfort. Inflammatory conditions may be managed by these drugs.
  • Steroids can be injected for better pain relief.
  • Physiotherapy may be needed to improve the range of motion.

Surgical methods:

  • Shoulder arthroscopy.
  • Manipulating the shoulder under anaesthesia.

Self-care tips:

  • The major treatment strategy is exercise and physical therapy.
  • It is best to avoid lifting any heavy objects to reduce strain on the shoulders.
  • Common pain remedies can be used to provide symptomatic relief.

Frozen shoulder is a self-resolving condition that needs proper management and care. Long-term preventive steps like regular walking and exercising can help prevent recurrence in the future.


  1. M Chokkalingam et al. Incidence and clinical profile of patients with frozen shoulder after cardiac surgery. Year : 2017 Volume : 6 Issue : 4 Page : 142-146
  2. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Frozen Shoulder. [Internet]
  3. Harpal Singh Uppal et al. Frozen shoulder: A systematic review of therapeutic options. World J Orthop. 2015 Mar 18; 6(2): 263–268. PMID: 25793166
  4. Hui Bin Yvonne Chan et al. Physical therapy in the management of frozen shoulder. Singapore Med J. 2017 Dec; 58(12): 685–689. PMID: 29242941
  5. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Frozen shoulder

Medicines for Frozen Shoulder

Medicines listed below are available for Frozen Shoulder. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.