Frozen shoulder is also known as painful stiff shoulder or peri-arthritis. It usually presents as pain that progresses with time and leads to increasing loss of movement in the shoulder as one often tries to limit the pain by voluntarily decreasing the movement of the shoulder.

  • It affects 2-5% of the population.
  • It seems to affect mainly the over-40’s.
  • It is more common in women. (60%)
  • About 15% of people get it on both sides



Inflammation and tightness of the shoulder joint capsule leads to a frozen shoulder resulting in adhesions between your joint’s surface. Synovial fluid, present in the joint space which helps to keep your joint lubricated and moving smoothly, may decrease. Possibe causes may include

  • Minor Injury – Overuse or prolonged rest of shoulder, such as after surgery or an arm fracture
  • Pain – from Arthritis, Bursitis, or rotator cuff tear
  • Risk Factors – Overactive or underactive thyroid, diabetes, stroke or Parkinson’s disease
  • Some form of stress or bed rest following illness



  • Pain; usually a dull, aching pain over the outer shoulder area and sometimes on the upper arm
  • Pain worsens at night, with difficulty in finding a comfortable position
  • Limited movement of the shoulder
  • Difficulty with activities such as combing hair, putting on shirts/bras, reaching for your wallet in your back pocket



Frozen shoulder typically develops slowly and in three stages:

  • Painful Stage – Pain occurs with any movement of your shoulder and your shoulder’s range of motion starts to become limited. This painful stage typically lasts 6-12 weeks.
  • Frozen Stage – Pain may begin to reduce during this stage, However, your shoulder becomes stiffer and your range of motion decreases notably. The frozen stage can last 4-6 months.
  • Thawing Stage The thawing stage is gradual, and motion steadily improves over a lengthy period of time. The thawing stage can last more than a year.



With Physiotherapy, medication and self-care efforts, most people with frozen shoulder eventually regain nearly full  shoulder movement and strength as signs and symptoms improve.

Pain Relief – with Ultrasound or Short Wave or specialised modalities like Cold Laser or Radial Shock Wave Therapy.

Exercise and stretching to restore movement