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Frozen Shoulder

Stuart Fossella - Thursday, November 22, 2012 | Comments (0)
Posted 7 years ago
image of the shoulder joint demonstrating joint capsule thickening as per adhesive capsulitis

Frozen Shoulder

Adhesive capsulitis, also known as Frozen shoulder is a condition characterised by a pain and a loss of movement at the ball and socket joint of the shoulder.

The causes of a Frozen shoulder are not fully understood, but the condition leads to scarring and tightening of the capsule that surrounds the joint. It is this that causes restricted movement, hence the term ‘frozen’. The condition can develop secondary to a previous shoulder injury, especially if the initial injury has not been managed well.

Have a look at the following link for a 3D image of the shoulder joint Healthline

Clinical Signs

  • Adhesive capsulitis is considered more prevalent in women, individuals 40-65 years old, and in the diabetic population.
  • Characterised by pain, stiffness and a loss of shoulder movement.
  • The condition tends to follow the pattern of 1) a freezing & painful stage. 2) a frozen & stiff phase, and a 3rd) thawing phase which sees a return of shoulder movement.
  • Unfortunately for sufferers, this entire process can take as long as two years to run its course.


  • Techniques that we commonly use include soft tissue release and manipulation.
  • Acupuncture works extremely well at reducing pain.
  • Mobilising hands on techniques of the shoulder help to ease pain and improve movement
  • A home exercise programme of targeted stretches are vital to maintain and improve shoulder movement and day to day function.


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