What is it?
Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. Signs and symptoms typically begin gradually, worsen over time and then resolve, usually within one to three years.
What are the symptoms?
- Frozen shoulder typically develops slowly, and in three stages. Each stage can last a number of months.
- Freezing stage Any movement of your shoulder causes pain, and your shoulder range of motion starts to become limited.
- Frozen stage Pain may begin to diminish during this stage. However, your shoulder becomes stiffer, and using it becomes more difficult.
- Thawing stage The range of motion in your shoulder begins to improve. For some people, the pain worsens at night, sometimes disrupting sleep.
- Continue to use the involved shoulder and extremity as much as possible given your pain and range-of-motion limits.
- Applying heat or cold to your shoulder can help relieve pain.
- Avoid activities that can worsen the condition for example lifting heavy loads
Things to watch out for
Adhesive capsulitis can be treated by visiting a chiropractor or a physiotherapist. GP should be contacted if the persistent shoulder pain limits your movement.