What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulderdiagram of shoulder joint - frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder is also known as adhesive capsulitis, or shoulder contracture. It is caused by inflammation and thickening of the lining of the joint capsule. The symptoms often develop for no apparent reason but in some cases it occurs after a minor injury to the shoulder, a stroke, chronic bronchitis, or angina pectoris.

The lining of the shoulder joint, known as the “capsule”,  or the “shoulder capsule”, is very flexible and allows for a wide range of movement (more than any other joint in the body).  When this capsule (and its ligaments) becomes inflamed, swollen, red and contracted. The normal elasticity is lost and pain and stiffness set in.

The condition can last anything from six months to three or more years and is thought that it may have an autoimmune component, with the body attacking healthy tissue in the capsule.



Who Is Affected by Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder mainly affects people in their middle age and there is a higher than average risk among people suffering with diabetes mellitus.


Causes of Frozen Shoulder

Although the exact cause is not fully understood, there are some things that can cause increased risk.

  • Shoulder injury or shoulder surgery
  • Dupuytren’s contracture – a condition where small lumps of thickened tissue form in the hands and fingers.
  • Diabetes


What Are the Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder manifests as stiffness and pain in the shoulder making normal mobility of the joint impossible. In severe cases the pain is intense, causing the shoulder to be completely rigid. One of the most common tests is to try to lift your arm to the horizontal level. This is impossible in cases of frozen shoulder, with abduction of the arm being very limited before pain occurs.


Treatment methods

There are various treatments for Frozen Shoulder including those of an alternative, complementary, or holistic nature. Please visit Holistic-pages.com for details.