Frozen 🥶 Shoulder

This is a very well known condition which can be debilitating for some sufferers. It is also known as Adhesive Capsulitis in the medical profession.

A true frozen shoulder will limit the shoulder joint in almost every direction.  It’s rate of incidence is 2% in the 🇬🇧 population. Commonly affecting those aged between 40 to 60. It has a tendency to affect more females than males – especially those whom have sedentary jobs.

Specific risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing the condition – such as – Prolonged immobility (after painful trauma like elbow/shoulder fractures), Comorbidities (thyroid disorders, diabetes, parkinsons, cardiac disease, stroke, arthritis, rotator cuff conditions). These causes are then divided into 3 categories

1- Systemic, 2-Intrinsic, 3-Extrinsic

Any of these risk factors could’ve begun the development of the condition. However in some cases Frozen Shoulder occurs spontaneously without any real obvious causes.

In all cases whenever you are suffering from shoulder problems and loss of motion you must consider it being a frozen shoulder and at-least get it checked out for some advice.


How does it present?

Frozen Shoulder begins as a mild loss of shoulder motion, especially when twisting the shoulder away from you and lifting above your head. There can also be mild pain at rest. This is all known as  Stage 1 – Freezing Stage. Stage 1 signifies an increase in the inflammation that is in your shoulder. If there is no intervention taken at this stage – things can quickly progress to stage 2.

Stage 2 is known as – Frozen Stage. In stage 2 things can really go downhill. The pain intensifies and the amount of motion decreases even more. Your shoulder will be even more limited in its capabilities – where sufferers struggle to put their arms through the sleeves and raise their arm at all. The bad news is that this stage can last anywhere between 4 months to 12 months. Before it spontaneously resolves. This stage signifies a thickening in the shoulder joint capsule and ligaments, as well as even more continuing inflammation.

The finale stage – Stage 3 – is known as the ‘Thawing Stage’, which can take upto 3 years to spontaneously resolve. Naturally at this point your body begins to become under control of the inflammation and the changes within the joint itself. The pain and the range of motion begin to rapidly improve at this point.

Understandably no one wants to have a frozen shoulder for upto 3 years (some cases even more) but early intervention and advice is the main factor to reduce the likelihood of having this condition for a long time.

Rule of thumb 👍🏼- when in doubt, get checked out. Your Chiropractor or other musculoskeletal health professional will be able to test your body and rule in or rule out the LIKLEY cause. As frozen shoulder can mimic other shoulder conditions such as; Osteoarthritis, Labral Tears, Calcific Tendonitis and even rotator cuff tears.

To help reduce the prolonged symptoms of frozen shoulder your chiropractor will utilise – Shoulder joint mobilisation techniques, Kinesiology taping, Dry needling, nerve release techniques, passive muscle release techniques among other treatment modalities. Furthermore they may referr you to have regular massages and exercises to help manage your symptoms.


If you are currently self-isolating at home and are suffering with problems, ring in today for a telehealth appointment where the chiropractor may be able to give you some advice over the phone.

In the GP setting, the doctor will usually referr you for chiropractic or Physiotherapy services to see if your shoulder heals with manual care otherwise a corticosteroid injection may need to be utilised, along with pain medications and possible co-management with other healthcare professionals.


It caa be very difficult suffering with Frozen Shoulder, however, having a qualified practitioner with you can be very helpful as you progress.



From the Preston Chiropractor Team
Getting You Back in Action & Enjoying Your Life Again
Serving the people of Preston and surrounding areas including Southport and Lytham St Annes

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