backup og meta
Health Screening
Ask Doctor

Can A Frozen Shoulder Be Fixed?

Written by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner

Updated Jul 06, 2022

Can A Frozen Shoulder Be Fixed?

Do you feel that your arm movement is restrained? How even the act of combing your hair is painful and tiring now? If so, you may have a case of a frozen shoulder. Here’s what you need to know about adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder. 

What is frozen shoulder and why does it happen?

Adhesive capsulitis, another name for frozen shoulder, is a disorder in which the capsule, the tissue that surrounds the shoulder joint, thickens and tightens until it contracts and produces scar tissue. 

There is frequently less synovial fluid in the joint, which acts like a lubricant or cushion to reduce friction between joints. 

Here are some things you need to know about the factors that contribute to the development of a frozen shoulder. 

  • Women between the ages of 40 and 60 are most frequently affected by the illness. 
  • Men are less likely to be impacted than women. 
  • The syndrome can be brought on by a number of illnesses, including thyroid disorders, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and tuberculosis. 
  • Limited shoulder mobility brought on by trauma, rotator cuff damage, or surgery that results in a protracted period of reduced shoulder mobility can potentially be a factor in the condition.
  •  How do I know if I have a frozen shoulder?

    Severe discomfort and an inability to move the shoulder, either on your own or with assistance, are the defining characteristics of this illness. 

    The discomfort is typically felt in the outer shoulder area and occasionally in the upper arm. As the pain gets worse, people try to avoid using their shoulders, which makes them stiffer and eventually causes them to lose complete range of motion. Daily tasks like hair-brushing and getting dressed can become excruciatingly painful, as well as sleeping on the same side as the injured shoulder. 

    During the physical exam, the doctor will carefully move your shoulder in all directions to evaluate whether the movement is restricted and if discomfort is felt when moving it. 

    Your doctor will compare the range of motion you demonstrate when you move your shoulder on your own to the “passive range of motion,” which is the range of motion when someone else moves your shoulder. 

    Active and passive range of motion is both restricted in people with a frozen shoulder. 

    To rule out further problems, like arthritis or a torn rotator cuff, ancillary procedures like an X-ray or MRI may be required.

    What can I do to ease it? Are there home remedies?

    Even though it could take up to three years, a frozen shoulder usually improves with time. 

    Through physical therapy, the goal of treatment is to reduce discomfort while regaining strength and range of motion. 

    Additionally, the main ways to cure a frozen shoulder are through exercise and shoulder stretches.

    • Warming up your shoulder is necessary before beginning any at-home remedies for treating a frozen shoulder. You can restore the shoulder with a sufficient blood supply and avoid any further damage by warming it up. 
    • By having a warm bath, you can warm up the shoulder before beginning to gently massage it in circular patterns
    • Make sure the movement is soft and gradual. Remember that the shoulder can be hurt by any forceful movement.
    • It is advised to perform a few exercises after warming up the shoulder. These exercises can aid in effective treatment and help the frozen shoulder regain some mobility. 
    • Pendulum stretching, armpit stretching, towel stretching, finger walking, and cross-body reaches are a few exercises that might help you treat a frozen shoulder at home. 
    • In order to lessen the pain brought on by a frozen shoulder, you should also consider sling support while it is being rested. 
    • Also, it may be relieving to know that most occurrences of frozen shoulders are resolved non-operatively.

      When is it necessary to contact a doctor?

      If the pain and frozen shoulder situation worsens, you should see a doctor. Additionally, doctors may recommend cortisone injections, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory drugs

      Joint distension, which injects sterile water into the joint capsule to stretch the tissue, can be used to reduce discomfort and enhance your range of motion in the shoulder. 

      Shoulder manipulation while under a general anesthetic may also help loosen up constricted tissues in the joint, making it simpler to move the joint.

      If physiotherapy or other treatments are ineffective, surgery may be recommended. One such surgery is Capsular release, which involves keyhole surgery to release the tight capsule that leads to adhesive capsulitis. 

      Finally, remember that you must consult a doctor if you feel worried about your frozen shoulder. 

      Learn more about Orthopedics here


      Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

      Written by

      Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

      General Practitioner

      Updated Jul 06, 2022

      ad iconadvertisement

      Was this article helpful?

      ad iconadvertisement
      ad iconadvertisement