Frozen shoulder is a common condition which can occur in middle age. Its cause is unknown but interestingly it is more common in diabetics. It causes the normally loose bag that holds the ball in the socket to become inflamed and thickened. This results in severe pain as the bag is stretched with movement towards the end of range. The process leads to progressive stiffening of the shoulder followed by a gradual easing of discomfort and then eventually resolution to a normal shoulder. Diagnosis early before restriction of movement can be difficult. Paradoxically, the more the patient fights the “freezing”, the quicker this condition will resolve. It can however take up to two years.
Before commencing a program of treatment for frozen shoulder, it is crucial that the diagnosis is confirmed, but then we encourage activity and formal stretching exercises with reliably good results. Not infrequently, an injection of cortisone into the joint can be of dramatic assistance. Review from your therapist every few weeks can make a big difference to your experience.
Very rarely your surgeon may recommend surgical intervention.