Frozen Shoulder

What is it?

A frozen is a stiff shoulder.  It is generally painful.

How do you get it?

A frozen shoulder occurs after something painful in the shoulder area.  It may not even be related to the shoulder itself, but movement provokes pain, so the arm is held still as this is more comfortable.  Because the arm is held still, the lining of the shoulder joint sticks to itself.  Now, when the arm is moved, there is pain, so the arm is held still again.  The longer the shoulder is held still, the worse the pain and restriction of movement gets.

What symptoms do you get?

You will get pain around the shoulder, particularly with movement.  Movement around the shoulder is usually restricted.  Moving too far or too fast provokes pain.

What happens without treatment?

Usually, the pain etc will resolve, but it often takes a long time.

How do you treat it?

The treatment for a frozen shoulder is physiotherapy.  By steadily stretching up the range of movement under control, the range of movement improves.  Also, muscle strengthening is needed, and by steady practice, the shoulder function will return.