What is a Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen Shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is pain, stiffness and limited range of motion in the shoulder that may follow an injury. It reduces normal movement in the joint and sometimes, it can prevent movement in the shoulder altogether. The tissues around the joint stiffen, scar tissue forms and shoulder movements become difficult and painful. The condition usually takes several months of time to reduce.


Frozen Shoulder occurs when inflammation of the joint causes the shoulder ligaments to swell and thicken resulting in scar tissue. This leaves less space for the ball of the shoulder to rotate in its socket, causing shoulder stiffness and pain. To say, any shoulder problem can lead to Frozen Shoulder and can limit your shoulder’s movement.

Frozen shoulder occurs:

  • After surgery or injury.
  • Most often in people 40 to 70 years old.
  • More often in women (especially in postmenopausal women) than in men.
  • Most often in people with chronic diseases.

Diagnosis of Frozen Shoulder

Your doctor may suspect Frozen Shoulder if a physical exam reveals limited shoulder movement. An X-ray may be done to see whether symptoms are from any other another condition such as arthritis or a broken bone. An arthrogram, which is an X-ray image of your joint taken after a contrast material (such as a dye or air) is injected into it, can help confirm the diagnosis.


Treatment for Frozen Shoulder usually starts with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and application of heat to the affected area, followed by gentle stretching. Ice and medicines (including corticosteroid injections) may also be used to reduce pain and swelling.

Physical Therapy can help increase your range of motion. A Frozen Shoulder can take many months to get better. Our Physical Therapists at Optimum Rehab offices in New York City provides the best Physical Therapy treatment that needs one to get relief from Frozen Shoulder.

Prevention of Frozen Shoulder

Gentle, progressive range-of-motion exercises, stretching, and using your shoulder more may help prevent Frozen Shoulder. Avoiding re-injury is important to maintain the long-term function of the shoulder. A balanced, regular exercise regimen will help to reduce the risk of shoulder injury.