Physio Information

Knowledge is Power

Understand the problem to treat the cause

The Dreaded Frozen Shoulder

Stiff and painful shoulder

Are you over 40 and experiencing a shoulder that isn't improving and becoming stiffer and more painful by the week? Are you unsure of exactly how it happened as well?

You may have frozen shoulder. Current studies have picked up some common indicators of people that are suffering from frozen shoulder. Some of these include the following:

  • Being over the age of 40
  • Gender, 70% of sufferers are actually female
  • Females post-menopausal
  • A period of immobilisation i.e. after a fracture or shoulder surgery
  • Diabetics have an increased chance of developing frozen shoulder
  • Stroke
  • Hyper/Hypothyroidism
*Please not that just because you don't have these indicators does not mean that you don't have frozen shoulder either.

So What is Frozen Shoulder?
This occurs when the capsule surrounding your shoulder joint stiffens, loses space and restricts mobility inside the joint. This is generally involved with pain and inflammation. The actual cause as to why this happens it still unknown. There are commonly 3 stages to frozen shoulder that have been well documented in literature. These are:
  1. Freezing: Lots of pain and worsening stiffness
  2. Frozen: Lessening pain and a plateau of stiffness
  3. Thawing: More pain and a slow increase of mobility
Ultimately frozen shoulder will go away with time however the process may take anywhere from months to years. It's a good idea to consult your physiotherapist to find exactly what you can do to help and manage this condition. We will work together with your GP to make sure you're getting the best management possible.


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