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Frozen Shoulder - Have You Got It?

Frozen Shoulder - Have You Got It?

Also known as Adhesive Capsulitis, this is one of the most difficult injuries to treat in the shoulder.

The connective tissue around the shoulder joint becomes inflamed and irritated and thus stiffens up! This makes it painful and very stiff.

The condition tends to hit people out of the blue for no reason. The arm and shoulder will start to get sore and the movement will start to get worse on all planes of motion.

Patients will complain that they can hardly move their arm. Putting the hand to the back of your head is very difficult and sore. Putting your hand up your back is extremely difficult and sore also.

The condition is usually worse in bed at night time. Certain wrong movements can cause extreme sharp pain.


A test that we can do ourselves is to try and lift up the affected arm with our other arm/hand.

You will find that the movement is just as poor and sore compared to when we use the bad arm itself. It reaches a point at which it feels like it gets stuck and it won’t want to go any further.

Get the diagnosis confirmed by your GP or some other professional as sometimes the condition may be due to some other condition such as an inflamed joint.

Frozen shoulder is mostly likely to happen in older people mainly over 50 and most likely to women. Those with diabetes are also more likely to get the condition.

Can it be helped?

It can be but it is a very difficult injury to treat. It can be more easily helped by physiotherapists and soft tissue therapists in the early (freezing) and latter stages (thawing).

Once the shoulder has froze as such, it is very difficult to treat. This is where your GP can offer more help such as an anti-inflammatory and pain killers. He may also refer you on to get corticosteroid injections into the shoulder. In severe cases, surgery may need to be looked into.

Expect that the condition may take up to 18 months for it to heal even with treatment.

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