Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is stiffness, pain, and limited range of movement in your shoulder that may follow an injury. The tissues around the joint stiffen, scar tissue forms, and shoulder movements become difficult and painful. The condition usually comes on slowly, then goes away slowly over the course of several months or longer.
Frozen shoulder can develop when you stop using the joint normally because of pain, injury, or a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or arthritis. Any shoulder problem can lead to frozen shoulder if you do not work to keep full range of motion.
Frozen shoulder occurs:
Your doctor may suspect frozen shoulder if a physical exam reveals limited shoulder movement. An X-ray may be done to see whether symptoms are from another condition such as arthritis or a broken bone. An arthrogram, which is an X-ray image of your joint taken after a contrast material (such as a dye or air) is injected into it, can help confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for frozen shoulder usually starts with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and application of heat to the affected area, followed by gentle stretching. Ice and medicines (including corticosteroid injections) may also be used to reduce pain and swelling. And physical therapy can help increase your range of motion. A frozen shoulder can take many months to get better. But if treatment is not helping, surgery is sometimes done to cut some of the tight tissues around the shoulder. This surgery is often done with an arthroscope.
Gentle, progressive range-of-motion exercises, stretching, and using your shoulder more may help prevent frozen shoulder.
|American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)|
|6300 North River Road|
|Rosemont, IL 60018-4262|
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) provides information and education to raise the public's awareness of musculoskeletal conditions, with an emphasis on preventive measures. The AAOS website contains information on orthopedic conditions and treatments, injury prevention, and wellness and exercise.
|American Physical Therapy Association|
|1111 North Fairfax Street|
|Alexandria, VA 22314-1488|
The American Physical Therapy Association is a national organization representing nearly 70,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapist education, practice, and research. The APTA also provides information and education to the public about physical therapy and how it is used to treat certain conditions.
|National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institutes of Health|
|1 AMS Circle|
|Bethesda, MD 20892-3675|
|Phone:||1-877-22-NIAMS (1-877-226-4267) toll-free|
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) is a governmental institute that serves the public and health professionals by providing information, locating other information sources, and participating in a national federal database of health information. NIAMS supports research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases and supports the training of scientists to carry out this research.
The NIAMS website provides health information referrals to the NIAMS Clearinghouse, which has information packages about diseases.
Other Works Consulted
- McMahon PJ, Kaplan LD (2006). Shoulder stiffness section of Sports medicine. In HB Skinner, ed., Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Orthopedics, 4th ed, pp. 208–210. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Mercier LR (2008). Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) section of The shoulder. In Practical Orthopedics, 6th ed, pp. 66–67. Philadelphia: Mosby Elsevier.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Patrick J. McMahon, MD - Orthopedic Surgery|
|Last Revised||August 29, 2011|
Last Revised: August 29, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
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