Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is a condition characterized by pain and progressive loss of movements of the shoulder.

Occasionally may be preceded by a minor injury, but usually there is no precipitating cause.

Diabetes and Hypothyroidism increase the risk of developing Adhesive capsulitis.

The condition starts with inflammation of the joint lining(capsule) which leads to pain in the shoulder which can be severe. Any attempted movements of the shoulder are painful, and any unguarded movements of the shoulder are very painful. There may be pain at rest and is worse through the night.

Gradually the inflammation of the capsule leads to scarring, which causes of limitation of movements of the shoulder in all directions.

Three stages of the disease are described.

  1. Freezing stage- The first stage lasts for about 6-9 months, and is characterized by progressive worsening pain and stiffness.
  2. Frozen stage- In the second stage of the condition the pain may ease off, but the movements gradually worse. This stage may last for 6-12 months.
  3. Thawing stage- There may be gradual improvement of range of movements, although may not return to normal.


  • Steroid injection
  • Physiotherapy
  • Hydrodilatation
  • Manipulation under anaesthetic
  • Arthroscopic(keyhole) capsular release