What is Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder Syndrome)?

Adhesive capsulitis, also known as frozen shoulder syndrome, is an inflammation of the shoulder capsule and characterised by shoulder stiffness, pain and loss of movement.

Frozen shoulder often progresses in three stages:

Stage 1 Acute “Freezing”: The freezing stage typically lasts 6 weeks to 9 months and is characterised by increasing shoulder pain and stiffness.
Stage 2 Subacute “Frozen”: The frozen stage typically lasts 4 to 6 months and is characterised by unremitting stiffness and decreasing pain levels.
Stage 3 Chronic “Thawing”: The thawing stage typically lasts 6 months to 2 years during which time the shoulder gradually recovers its range of motion and strength.

The cause of adhesive capsulitis is not fully understood however, the research sates two classifications of adhesive capsulitis. The primary form is typically idiopathic (unknown cause), often associated with other conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, cardiac disease and Parkinson’s.

Secondary adhesive capsulitis is typically due to shoulder trauma, including tears to the rotator cuff muscles, fractures, surgery or prolonged immobilisation.

The symptoms of adhesive capsulitis include a dull or aching pain in the outer shoulder region and upper arm, made worse by movement. Patients may complain of shoulder stiffness, pain and restricted movement. Many may find it difficult to carry out the everyday tasks that they were once able to complete.

If you’re suffering from Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder Syndrome), we have a team who is ready to help you and get you on the road to recovery. Book an appointment with Precision Health today!

Call us on (02) 9639 7337 or book online.

Chan HBY, Pua PY, How How C. Physical therapy in the management of frozen shoulder. In: National Library of Medicine [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing; 2023. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5917053/#:~:text=Frozen%20shoulder%2C%20also%20known%20as,%2C%20and%20is%20often%20self%2D.

St Angelo JM, Taqi M, Fabiano SE. Adhesive Capsulitis. [Updated 2023 Aug 04]. In: National Library of Medicine [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing; 2023. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532955/#:~:text=Adhesive%20capsulitis%2C%20also%20known%20as,at%20thirty%20to%20sixty%20percent.

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