Frozen shoulder: How to live with the restriction

Adhesive Capsulitis commonly known as ‘Frozen shoulder’ is a debilitating condition that most commonly effects individuals aged from 40-65. It is usually a painful condition associated with loss of shoulder range of motion (ROM). This condition usually presents in a 3-stage process, Freezing, Frozen and Thawing.

Key Takeaways:

Stage 1: Freezing: A progressive and slow onset of pain that usually lasts from 6 weeks – 9 months, where the shoulder loses motion as the pain worsens.
Stage 2: Frozen: This is where the shoulder seems to be stuck with its ROM however, there usually is a slow decrease in pain which lasts from 4-9 months.
Stage 3: Thawing: Shoulder ROM starts to slowly return to normal, this can take any time from 5-26 months.

Key findings:
The number one complaint for individuals with frozen shoulder is pain. Frozen shoulder has a massive impact on an individual’s normal life with impacts to their emotional and psychological health. Frozen shoulder in its history has been poorly diagnosed and managed.

How these findings apply in practice?
If patients are in the “Freezing” stage of their Frozen shoulder, then we need to respect their pain as this is real pain and was reported to be the number one complaint from individuals. We also need to be using our skills of pain management and trying to gentle aim at improving ROM. It also highlights the need for skilled physiotherapists as a Frozen shoulder needs to be diagnosed and acted on quickly. 

If you are suffering from Frozen shoulder, cal our friendly staff to book in with one of our physiotherapists who can assist you in regaining your movement and function.