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Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder Rehabilitation

What is Frozen Shoulder? - Often referred to as “Adhesive Capsulitis” and characterized by initially painful and later progressively restricted active and passive glenohumeral (GH) joint range of motion with spontaneous complete or nearly complete recovery over a varied period of time"



– Often associated with other diseases and conditions such as diabetes mellitus, systemic diseases such as thyroid disease, and Parkinson’s disease


Post-surgery, post injury (rotator cuff tendon tear, subacromial impingement, biceps tenosynovitis and calcific tendonitis), post stroke. Where post-injury, there may be an altered movement pattern to protect the painful structures, which will in turn change the motor control of the shoulder, reducing the range of motion, and gradually stiffens up the joint.


Sign & symptoms

Acute/ freezing/ painful phase (2 – 9 month) :

  • Gradual onset of shoulder pain at rest
  • Sharp pain at extremes of motion
  • Pain at night with sleep interruption

Adhesive/ frozen/ stiffening phase (4 – 12 months) :

  • Pain starts to subside
  • Progress loss of GH motion in capsular pattern. Main presenting is loss of external rotation (ER) in a dependent position with the arm down by the side

  • Pain is apparent only at extreme movement. Difficulty with grooming, performing overhead activities, dressing, and fastening items behind the back

Resolution/ thawing phase (5 to 24 months) :

  • Spontaneous, progressive improvement in functional range of motion
  • May have persistent symptoms and restriction movement beyond three years

Explore the high tendency factors for Frozen Shoulder.

(1) AGE Most commonly affects patients between the ages of 40 to 60 years old.

(2) GENDER It is much more common in women than in men. 70% of people with frozen shoulder are women

(3) SHOULDER / ARM TRAUMA OR SURGERYThose with shoulder injuries may risk frozen shoulder. The person with a history of shoulder injury or surgery has an increased risk to develop frozen shoulder. When injury or surgery is followed by prolonged joint immobilization, the risk of developing a frozen shoulder is highest. Immobility of recovery may cause the shoulder capsule to stiffen 

(4) Having Suffered a stroke

(5) OTHER SYSTEMIC CONDITIONS Several systemic conditions such as heart disease and Parkinson’s disease have also been associated with an increased risk for developing a frozen shoulder

(6) ENDOCRINE DISORDERS  Patients with diabetes are at particular risk for developing a frozen shoulder. Other endocrine abnormalities, such as thyroid problems eg Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) can also lead to development of this condition


 SUFFERING FROM Frozen Shoulder?

 Difficulty in performing daily activities due to frozen shoulder?

Pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint?

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