Frozen Shoulder Contracture Syndrome

Jun 23, 2022


Frozen shoulder contracture syndrome, often called a Frozen shoulder or Adhesive Capsulitis is a painful condition, due to the stiffness of structures surrounding the capsule of the shoulder. It occurs when the capsule that wraps around the shoulder joint grows thick and restricts the ability to move the shoulder. Frozen shoulder happens when scar tissue forms in the joint capsule. As a result, the shoulder joint’s capsule thickens and tighten, leaving less room for movement. Movement may become painful and irritated.

It is characterized by the pain, swelling, and irritation of soft tissues and stiffness in the muscle of the shoulder joint that limits the range of motion in the shoulder joint. All the structure (muscle, ligament) become painful and the activity of daily life gets affected.

It compromises of different stages, the activity restriction all depends upon the stage of frozen shoulder. It limits the activity in some cases to an extent that, the patients are unable to do dressing, grooming, and other activity.

The exact etiology is notfully understood. It is most common In the recovery process of a shoulderinjury, arm fracture, and stroke. Immobility due to any above mention problemcan cause it. It is also common in diabetes mellitus patients. However, in the case of a frozen shoulder, most people reported immobility as a result of a recent injury or fracture .


Physiotherapy is the best option for the frozen shoulder. Gentle movement can relieve pain in the best possible way. There are long-lasting physiotherapy techniques to get movement back. Some exercises can be done by the patient like pendulum exercises towel stretch or small weight lifting activities. Consist stretching can minimize the muscle in the affected arm ,decreasing the muscular trigger points, pain and soften the capsular scar tissue build-up. Physiotherapy can speed up the recovery process by minimizing the pain. Keep your joint moving within the pain-free limit. If stretches increase your pain significantly, stop and consult with your doctor.

Night pain is the most common in frozen shoulder patients. There are two reasons for this pain, the first one is the position of the joint change during sleep from vertical to horizontal, the second reason is the resting position of the joint because of the muscle of the shoulder joint works against gravity throughout the day. During night time, due to the muscle relaxing position, the sensation of pain is more.

To relieve this night pain simple icing the shoudler joint, for 15 minutes may be helpful, as can be taking  pain medication, or sometimes a ultrasound-guided steroid injection. Steroids have a certain time limit in which, joints remain painless often after administration relieving pain and permitting movement/exercise.

It may take 1.5 to 3 years to fully recover from a frozen shoulder depending upon the severity of your symptoms. There is also the chance of reoccurrence, if the strength of the muscle involved is not properly achieved. Do not try to push through the pain – especially in the painful stage, also discontinue the tasks that cause you pain, such as running and playing sport.

To prevent this condition,in any case of immobility keep your limb moving. With this little practice, you can prevent your joint capsule from being tightened in a different direction.


See the links below to commonly prescribed exercises for frozen shoulder. We always advise you to contact your GP or a professional before commencing any exercises to confirm your diagnosis and ensure they are appropriate for your condition.


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