Frozen Shoulder / Adhesive Capsulitis

What is Frozen Shoulder?
Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis, is a disabling condition that involves stiffness, pain and loss of function. Currently, researchers and medical workers have not been able to find a clear cause of frozen shoulder. Around 2%-5% of the general population suffers from this disease with an average age range of 40-65. Frozen shoulder is predominantly in females according to various research sources. This condition can have a complete recovery, however in some cases the loss of motion can be long term.
Common criteria for frozen shoulder can include: an insidious onset, shoulder pain that limits activities of daily living, severe pain at night, loss of range of motion, and decreased strength. A radiological image will likely appear normal.
Types/At Risk
There are two types of frozen shoulder: primary and secondary. Primary frozen shoulder is idiopathic and not associated with a systemic illness. Secondary frozen shoulder develops with a systemic illness.
Those who have experienced trauma and hormonal diseases are at risk for developing frozen shoulder. Also, research shows the most commonly associated condition to frozen shoulder is diabetes.

According to researchers Hannafin and Chiaia, there are multiple stages of frozen shoulder.

  • The pre-adhesive stage, is stage 1
  • Stage 2 is known as the “freezing” stage
  • Stage 3 is the fibrotic or “frozen” stage
  • The last stage is the ”thawing” phase and is known as stage 4
Initially, patients who are diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis are commonly referred to attend physical therapy for a conservative treatment approach. Besides treatment, education and home exercise programs for self-management and prevention strategies are provided to patients at physical therapy. Other approaches used include corticosteroid injections, surgery, joint mobilization, acupuncture and laser therapy.
If you feel like you might have frozen shoulder, talk to your doctor. They will refer you to someone who can help get you back on track! If you’re located in Central Florida, give us a call at Hohman Rehab!!