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Frozen Shoulder

Also Known as

  • Adhesive capsulitis

What is it?

  • A disorder of the shoulder characterised by first pain and then stiffness with the result being loss of movement.


  • More prevalent in women then men
  • Patients generally aged between 40 and 70 years old
  • More common in non-dominant shoulder.


  • Cause known
  • Possibly autoimmune related
  • Precipitating factors - immobility of the arm or preceeding trauma
  • More common in patients with diabetes, thyroid disease and ischemic heart disease
  • Involves thickening and contraction of the capsule around the shoulder.


  • Depends on the stage of presentation
  • Pain
    • Character - dull, aching
    • Worsened by movement
  • Limited movement of the shoulder.

Clinical Features / Examination

The condition has three phases:

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