Frozen Shoulder- Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Frozen shoulder is a condition when somebody encounters continuous shoulder stiffness and pain. It could last for weeks, and even months. It is likely to occur when stiffness increases around the shoulder which reduces inability to move or stretch properly. This ordinarily happens when somebody is recovering from an injury. Frozen shoulder at times happens when somebody is wearing a sling or a cast for a long time. Complete recovery can take anywhere from a year upto 3 years.


It’s not clear why some people develop it, and other don’t. But some groups are found to be at more risk than the general population.

Frozen shoulder happens more often in women than men, and people are more likely to get it between the ages of 40 and 60. Your risk might also go up if you’re in the process of recovering from a medical condition like a stroke, or surgery like a mastectomy that keeps you from moving your arm.

Certain medical conditions can increase your risk too. People are more likely to get frozen shoulder if having diabetes. About 10% to 20% of people with diabetes get frozen shoulder. Other medical problems like heart disease, thyroid disease, or Parkinson’s disease are linked to frozen shoulder too.

The main symptoms of a frozen shoulder are pain and stiffness that make it difficult or impossible to move your shoulder joint.


  • Painkillers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may reduce inflammation and alleviate mild pain.
  • Corticosteroid interventions: However, repeated corticosteroid interventions are discouraged as they can have adverse effects, including further damage to the shoulder.
  • RadioFrequency (RF) treatment: This is a minimally invasive non surgical technique that directs high-frequency energy into targeted area around the nerve carrying pain signals from the shoulder joint. This results in pain relief which helps in improving compliance for physical therapy, leading to early recovery from frozen shoulder.
  • Shoulder manipulation: The shoulder joint is gently moved while the patient is under a general anesthetic.
  • Shoulder arthroscopy: A minimally invasive type of surgery used in a small percentage of cases (should always be the last option). A small endoscope, or tube, is inserted through a small incision into the shoulder joint to remove any scar tissue or adhesions.
  • The doctor will suggest a suitable option depending on the severity of signs and symptoms.