What You Need to Know About Your Frozen Shoulder: A Guide

Posted by Alan - March 26, 2021

frozen shoulder

Everyone experiences shoulder pain at some point in their lives, but there are types of discomfort that do not easily go away. In fact, it can be so bad you can no longer move your shoulder and arm. It can even be worse at night, causing you to have sleeping problems. If you are experiencing this, you may have a frozen shoulder. Learn more about this condition by reading the information below.

What Is a Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that affects your shoulder joint. It is caused by a buildup of inflamed scar tissue in your shoulder joint, preventing ease of movement. A lack of synovial fluid to lubricate the joint also further restricts mobility. It is more common among individuals between the ages of 40 and 60.

What Are the Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder?

There is a type of shoulder pain that goes away on its own, but some persist throughout months and even years. Here are the symptoms of frozen shoulder that you should watch out for:

  • Pain in your upper arm
  • Pain and stiffness in your shoulder joint
  • Decreasing levels of mobility in the shoulder
  • Difficulty sleeping on the side of the painful shoulder
  • Inability to carry out your usual shoulder movements

What Causes Frozen Shoulder?

There are no clear causes for frozen shoulders, but some individuals are more at risk than others. For example, if you have medical conditions, like diabetes or heart disease, you are more likely to get it. 

Additionally, you are prone to developing frozen shoulders if you are recovering from a stroke or surgery that hinders you from moving your shoulder for a long period of time. This is because this inactivity can cause inflammation and adhesions, which is the development of bands of tissue. You can also have the condition when your shoulder gets injured and then scar tissue forms.

What Are the Stages of Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is described in three stages. The acute painful and freezing stage is when you start to notice pain and discomfort. Your shoulder will begin to stiffen due to the pain and the lack of movement. 

During the frozen stage, the pain intensity reduces, but the stiffness persists or even worsens. You may still have trouble moving the joint, but the pain may significantly improve. Finally, you slowly regain mobility in the shoulder during the thawing stage. 

How Can Frozen Shoulder Be Diagnosed and Treated?

Visit your doctor to determine if you really have a frozen shoulder. Your doctor will conduct various tests, perform movement assessments, and discuss your medical history. They may also require you to get an X-ray to rule out arthritis or an MRI to check for any torn ligaments. 

To treat your condition, you can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to ease swelling and pain in the joint. You can receive electric stimulation or ultrasound therapy to break down your scar tissue or undergo surgery if you have a very severe and persistent case. 

In addition, you can get physiotherapy to improve your range of motion. When you reach out to our physiotherapist in Brisbane, you can have an exercise program specifically created just for your case.


Recovering from a frozen shoulder is a lengthy and time-consuming process. Your recovery period can take up to six months to one year, depending on the severity of your case. To recover successfully and quickly, remember the information mentioned above and consult a physiotherapist right away.

Take the first step to a successful recovery by reaching out to Anytime Physio. We are a physiotherapy clinic in Brisbane, and we offer physiotherapy, pilates services, and remedial massage. Book an appointment now!