Frozen shoulder also known as adhesive capsulitis, is one of the common causes of shoulder pain and stiffness. This causes difficulty in moving the arm, therefore, reducing the mobility of the shoulder. The frozen shoulder affects the shoulder joint (the ball and socket joint), i.e., one of the most mobile joints in the human body. Symptoms of frozen shoulder(s) develop slowly and get worse over time.

Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder:

Frozen shoulder signs and symptoms develop over time in three stages; freezing, frozen, and thawing.

1.      Freezing stage:

What are the first signs of frozen shoulder?

The freezing stage is the initial/beginning stage of a frozen shoulder. It is when the shoulder becomes stiff and causes pain when moving. The pain may get worse with time and at night. The freezing stage lasts from six weeks to nine months. The shoulder’s range of motion is limited during this time.

2.     Frozen stage:

This is the second stage of a frozen shoulder where the pain might get better but stiffness worse. A stiff shoulder makes it difficult to perform various routine activities. The frozen stage lasts for about four to twelve months.

3.     Thawing stage:

The shoulder stiffness begins to get better. The thawing stage lasts about 5 to 24 months.

Risk factors of Frozen Shoulder:

What is the main cause of frozen shoulder? One of the major causes is not moving the joint for a longer period (due to surgery or injury). Some other factors may also increase the risk of developing a frozen shoulder. These factors include the following:

–   Age and gender:

People in their 40s to 60s are at a higher risk of developing frozen shoulder(s). When it comes to gender, women are at a higher risk compared to men.

–  Diabetes:

Frozen shoulder occurs in 10% to 20% of people with diabetes mellitus. If you have diabetes, the risk of a frozen shoulder occurring increases. Among diabetics, shoulder stiffness occurs for a longer period before the thawing stage.

–   Shoulder injury, e.g., rotator cuff injury:

An injury to the shoulder like a rotator cuff injury leading to restricted movement of the shoulder increases the risk of a frozen shoulder.

– Other health conditions:

Some other health-related conditions include stroke, hypertension, hypotension, Parkinson’s disease, and heart disease. Movement of the arm and the shoulder are limited/restricted with a stroke, therefore, increasing the risk of frozen shoulder.

Preventing Frozen Shoulder Symptoms:

One of the major risks of a frozen shoulder is limited/restricted shoulder movement after surgery/injury. To prevent this, consult your physician regarding exercises that can be performed.

How to cure frozen shoulder quickly?

There are several non-surgical methods to treat frozen shoulder(s) at home. Following are some of the exercises for treating adhesive capsulitis:

– Finger walk:

Follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Stand in front of a wall, facing it and with about 3 quarter arm distance away.
  • At the waist level, reach out and touch the wall with the fingers of the affected arm/shoulder.
  • Slowly walk your fingers up the wall with your elbows slightly bent.
  • Keep going until your arm reaches your shoulder level or till the point, you easily can.
  • Make sure that the walk is being done by the fingers and not the shoulder muscles.
  • Slowly lower your arm and repeat.
  • Perform finger walks ten to twenty times a day.

– Cross-body reach:

Follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Sit/stand, and use the unaffected arm from the elbow to lift the stiff arm/shoulder.
  • Gently bring it up and across your body.
  • Exert gentle pressure, stretching the shoulder.
  • Hold the stretch for about 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Repeat this up to 10 to 20 times a day.

When to seek medical attention?

In case of increased pain in the shoulder, consult a physician. KKT Orthopedic Spine Center offers revolutionary non-surgical treatment for rotator cuff injury and other spine-related ailments. Book your appointment with KKT and get relief from your pain without any surgery. KKT Pakistan has highly qualified orthopedic consultants in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, and other metropolitan cities across Pakistan.

For booking an appointment, click on the link below.