OVER VIEW

   Frozen shoulder is the common name for adhesive capsulitis, which is a shoulder condition that limits your range of motion. When the tissues in your shoulder joint become thicker and tighter, scar tissue develops over time. As a result, your shoulder joint doesn’t have enough space to rotate properly. Common symptoms include swelling, pain, and stiffness. You’re more likely to have the condition if you’re between the ages of 40 and 60.

You become aware of a frozen shoulder when it begins to hurt. The pain then causes you to limit your movement. Moving the shoulder less and less increases its stiffness. Before long, you find that you can’t move your shoulder as you once did. Reaching for an item on a high shelf becomes difficult, if not impossible. When it’s severe, you might not be able to do everyday tasks that involve shoulder movement such as dressing.

If you have a hormonal imbalance, diabetes, or a weakened immune system, you may be prone to joint inflammation. A long period of inactivity due to an injury, illness, or surgery also makes you more vulnerable to inflammation and adhesions, which are bands of stiff tissue. In serious cases, scar tissue may form. This severely limits your range of motion. Usually, the condition takes two to nine months to develop
RISK FACTOR
The condition is more likely to occur in middle age and is more common in women.
If you have diabetes, your risk for the condition is three times greater.
Others at risk include:
  • people who must wear a shoulder sling for a long period after an injury or surgery
  • people must remain still for long periods of time due to a recent stroke or surgery
  • people with thyroid disorders

How Is a Frozen Shoulder Diagnosed?
If you feel stiffness and pain in your shoulder, see your doctor. A physical exam will help to assess your range of motion. Your doctor will observe as you perform specific movements and measure range of motion of the shoulder, such as touching your opposite shoulder with your hand.
A few tests may also be necessary. Your doctor might do a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI) to rule out a tear in your rotator cuff or other pathology. X-rays may also be taken to check for arthritis or other abnormalities. You may need an arthrogram for the X-ray, which involves injecting dye into your shoulder joint so that the doctor can see its structure.