Frozen Shoulder:- Adhesive Capsulitis is a commonly misdiagnosed condition.
A true frozen shoulder is where the capsule surrounding the shoulder becomes inflamed and stiff, resulting in severe limitations of movement at the shoulder joint. Due to differences in nomenclature, “frozen shoulder contracture syndrome” (FSCS) has been suggested as uniform name.
It is a more uncommon shoulder condition but it mostly affects people aged between 40 to 60 and is more common in females. The cause of this condition is still not fully understood but there is a link with diabetes and previous shoulder injuries.
There are 3 stages of a frozen shoulder:
Freezing – This is the first stage where the shoulder becomes painful and progressively gets worse. As a result the shoulder begins to stiffen up and you lose movement. This stage can last between 6 weeks and 9 months if left untreated.
Frozen – Pain may actually improve in this stage however the shoulder will be ‘frozen’ with very limited movement possible. This stage may last up to 6 months if left untreated.
Thawing – During this stage movement of the shoulder begins to improve again.
It may take up to 2 years before the shoulder is fully functional again.
Although there is a limited amount you can do while the shoulder is frozen, physiotherapy can still help with pain relief and stretches to maintain as much movement in the shoulder as possible.
In the final stage, physiotherapy is important to help regain full movement and strength in the arm.