Synergy Health Partners

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. This condition often develops gradually, worsening over time and then resolving, usually within one to three years.

How It Develops

Frozen shoulder occurs when the connective tissue surrounding the shoulder joint becomes thickened and tight. This leads to the formation of scar tissue, which restricts shoulder movement. Factors contributing to its development include:

  • Inactivity: Extended periods of shoulder immobility due to injury or surgery.
  • Diabetes: Higher incidence in individuals with diabetes.
  • Other Medical Conditions: Conditions like stroke, hyperthyroidism, and heart disease can increase risk.

Who It Affects

Frozen shoulder primarily affects people between the ages of 40 and 60. It is more common in women than men and is particularly prevalent among individuals with certain underlying health conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Common Symptoms

  • Pain: Persistent pain that worsens with shoulder movement.
  • Stiffness: Limited range of motion in the shoulder joint.
  • Difficulty with Daily Activities: Challenges in performing tasks like dressing, reaching overhead, and sleeping on the affected side.
  • Phases: The condition typically progresses through freezing, frozen, and thawing phases, each with varying degrees of pain and stiffness.

Impact on Daily Life

Living with frozen shoulder can significantly affect one’s quality of life. The pain and stiffness can limit your ability to perform everyday tasks, impacting work, hobbies, and sleep. The prolonged nature of the condition can also lead to frustration and decreased mobility.

Risks of Untreated Frozen Shoulder

If left untreated, frozen shoulder can lead to chronic pain and permanent loss of shoulder mobility. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent long-term complications and restore normal function.