Frozen shoulder is a condition that causes shoulder pain and limits the shoulder's range of motion. Frozen shoulder is also called "adhesive capsulitis", "painful stiff shoulder", and "periarthritis". It is caused due to inflammation of the surrounding soft tissue like capsule, ligaments, etc. As the surrounding soft tissue gets tighter and thicker it reduces the space between the bones of the shoulder joint and thus reduces joint mobility. In severe cases, scare tissues are formed over the soft tissues thereby causing adhesions.
The three hallmarks of frozen shoulder are shoulder stiffness; severe pain, even at night; and near complete loss of passive and active movements of shoulder. Elderly people with frozen shoulder usually complain of severe pain and inability to lift arm to perform any activities.
People who are diabetic, immune-compromised and have undergone prolonged immobilization (eg. immobilization post shoulder fracture) are prone to develop frozen shoulder. It is common in the age group of 40 to 60 years old and females are more prone to develop frozen shoulder compared to males.
Physiotherapy treatment mainly focuses on pain relieving techniques initially and then it is followed by mobilization of tightened structure in and around shoulder joint and thus helping the patient to gain functional range of movement. Duration generally took to achieve functional range of movement is about 5 weeks but may vary patient to patient.
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