Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by pain and loss of motion in the shoulder joint. It is more common in older adults aged between 40 and 60 years, and is more common in women than men.

Frozen shoulder is caused by the inflammation of the ligaments holding the shoulder bones to each other. The shoulder capsule becomes thick, tight and stiff bands of tissue called adhesions may develop. Individuals with a shoulder injury, shoulder surgeries, shoulder immobilized for a longer period of time, other disease conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Parkinson’s disease and cardiac diseases are at risk of developing frozen shoulder.


Frozen shoulder may cause pain and stiffness, and limit the movements of the shoulder.


The frozen shoulder condition can be diagnosed by its presenting symptoms and radiological diagnostic procedures such as X-rays or MRI scans.

Conservative treatment

Conservative treatment options include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections for pain
  • Physical therapy to improve your range of motion
  • Sometimes heat, to reduce pain


Your surgeon may recommend shoulder arthroscopy when  conservative treatments do not relieve symptoms. During surgery, the scar tissue will be removed and tight ligaments, if any, will be dissected. Following surgery, physical therapy will be advised to bring full range of motion and strengthen the muscles.