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Frozen Shoulder

What is frozen shoulder?

As its name suggests, frozen shoulder is characterized by stiffness, pain, and reduced mobility in your shoulder. Research suggests that this condition begins with an inflammation of the lining of the shoulder joint. As the lining thickens, the shoulder becomes stiffer, and pain gets worse.

Frozen shoulder moves through three stages that can occur over one to two years:

What causes frozen shoulder?

Frozen shoulder affects 2 to 5 percent of people at some point during their lives. Although we don’t know exactly what causes frozen shoulder, risk factors include:

What are the symptoms of frozen shoulder?

Common symptoms of frozen shoulder include:

How is frozen shoulder diagnosed?

The diagnostic process starts by talking with you about your symptoms, reviewing your medical history, and conducting a detailed physical examination. Comparing the range of motion between the affected shoulder and the normal shoulder usually confirms the condition.

How is frozen shoulder treated nonsurgically?

Treating frozen shoulder requires tremendous patience. Recovery is slow, and relatively few medical shortcuts are available to restore shoulder motion.

Surgery is rarely necessary for frozen shoulder and should only be considered after the majority of shoulder pain has resolved, and if the patient is unable to reclaim range of motion.