What is frozen shoulder?
Frozen shoulder, also referred to as “adhesive capsulitis”, is a painful condition in which the range of movement in the shoulder becomes limited.
Frozen shoulder occurs when the strong connective tissue surrounding the shoulder joint (shoulder joint capsule) become thick, stiff, and inflamed. (The joint capsule contains ligaments that attach the top of the upper arm bone [humeral] to the shoulder socket, holding the joint in place. This is most commonly known as the “ball and socket” joint.
The condition is called “frozen” shoulder because the more pain that is felt, the less likely the shoulder will be used. Lack of use causes the shoulder capsule to thicken and becomes tight, making the shoulder even more difficult to move — it is “frozen” in its position.
Who is at risk for getting frozen shoulder?
Adults: most commonly between 40 and 60 years of age.
Gender: More common develops in women than men.
Recent shoulder injury: Shoulder injury or shoulder surgeries that results in the need to keep the shoulder from moving (i.e., by using a shoulder brace, sling, shoulder wrap, etc.). Examples include rotator cuff tear and fractures of the shoulder blade, collarbone or upper arm.
Diabetes: Between 10 and 20 percent of individuals with diabetes develop frozen shoulder.
Other health diseases and conditions: Includes stroke, hypothyroidism (under active thyroid), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), Parkinson’s and and heart disease. Stroke is a risk factor for frozen shoulder because movement of your arm / shoulder may be limited. Why other diseases and conditions increase the risk of developing a frozen shoulder is unknown.