- Active range of motion is lost—You cannot move your shoulder well.
- Passive range of motion is lost—Someone trying to move your arm at the shoulder joint will find it stiff and difficult to move.
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- Diabetes, especially with complex regional pain syndrome
- Thyroid problems
- Disc problems in your neck
- Injuries to the shoulder
- Illness or injury that forces you to keep the shoulder immobile for a period of time
- Coronary artery and/or lung disease, during which time you do not move the shoulder normally
- Relieving pain
- Restoring function and range of motion to the shoulder
- Pain relief with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs—To help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Muscle relaxants—To help relax arm and shoulder muscles.
- Physical therapy—To stretch muscles and restore motion and function to the shoulder. This is the foundation of treatment. It requires home exercise.
- Heat and ice therapies—To help relieve pain and reduce swelling.
- Corticosteroid injections—As prescribed and given by your doctor (rarely done for this condition).
- Low-level laser therapy and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy—May have some benefit, but evidence is mixed. It may be used alone or with other therapies.
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy—To stimulate healing using shock waves outside of the body
- Do regular strength training and range-of-motion exercises. This will help maintain a strong and flexible shoulder joint.
- Seek prompt treatment for a shoulder injury.
- Do activities that use your shoulder joint regularly.
- After injury to an upper extremity (such as, hand, wrist, elbow), always move the shoulder through a full range of motion several times a day. This is true even when lying in bed for an illness such as a lung infection.
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
When it Hurts to Move—Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://whenithurtstomove.org
Adhesive capsulitis of shoulder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113935/Adhesive-capsulitis-of-shoulder. Updated December 22, 2015. Accessed September 28, 2016.
Ewald A. Adhesive capsulitis: a review. Am Fam Physician. 2011 Feb 15;83(4):417-422.
Frozen Shoulder. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00071. Updated January 2011. Accessed September 16, 2015.
Garcilazo C, Cavallasca JA, et al. Shoulder manifestations of diabetes mellitus. Curr Diabetes Rev. 2010 Sep;6(5):334-340.
Neviaser AS, Hannafin JA. Adhesive capsulitis: a review of current treatment. Am J Sports Med. 2010 Nov;38(11):2346-2356.
Struyf F and Meeus M. Current evidence on physical therapy in patients with adhesive capsulitis: What are we missing? Clinical Rheumatology. 2014;33(5):593-600.
Woodward TW, Best TM. The painful shoulder part I: clinical evaluation. Am Fam Physician. 2000;61(10):3079-3088.
Woodward TW, Best TM. The painful shoulder part II: acute and chronic disorders. Am Fam Physician. 2000;61(11):3291-3300.
5/7/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113935/Adhesive-capsulitis-of-shoulder: Kelley MJ, Shaffer MA, et al. Shoulder pain and mobility deficits: adhesive capsulitis. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2013 May;43(5):A1-31.
11/6/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113935/Adhesive-capsulitis-of-shoulder: Page MJ, Green S, et al. Electrotherapy modalities for adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;10:CD011324.
1/21/2015 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113935/Adhesive-capsulitis-of-shoulder: Chen CY, Hu CC, et al. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy improves short-term functional outcomes of shoulder adhesive capsulitis. J Shoulder Elbow Surgery. 2014 Dec;23(12):1843-1851.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2016 -
- Update Date: 01/21/2015 -