A more severe condition than stiff shoulder, frozen shoulder is also called adhesive capsulitis. Frozen shoulder results from the loss of movement in the shoulder over time. This lack of motion allows adhesions — sticky bits of tissue — to grow between the bones that make up the shoulder joint, restricting motion and causing pain when moving the joint.
Frozen Shoulder: What You Need to Know
- Symptoms of frozen shoulder include restricted shoulder movement and pain when moving the joint.
- Frozen shoulder can usually be diagnosed through a physical exam, but your physician may also order X-rays or additional tests to rule out other causes of your shoulder pain or limited motion.
- Treatment for frozen shoulder usually includes physical therapy to increase motion and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain. If this combination does not improve the condition or pain, the next line of treatment includes oral steroids and/or cortisone injections. Surgery is usually reserved for the most severe cases of frozen shoulder.
- Recovery from frozen shoulder can range from a few months to nine months for some patients.