Adhesive capsulitis

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Adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder is defined by pain and rigidity or movement loss in the shoulder joint. The condition generally affects individuals between 40-60 years of age and common among women.

The condition arises as the site around the shoulder joint turns dense and contracts. Nevertheless, the root cause of the condition is not fully understood. It oftentimes develops after the joint has been immobilized for some time. Adhesive capsulitis is prevalent among those with diabetes. Certain conditions increase the likelihood for the development of the condition such as:

  • Hyperthyroidism/hypothyroidism
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Heart disease or surgery


adhesive capsulitis
Generally, there is an aching or dull pain or discomfort in the exterior region of the shoulder.

Generally, there is an aching or dull pain or discomfort in the exterior region of the shoulder. Oftentimes, the pain arises in the upper arm. The usual indication of adhesive capsulitis is rigidity or limited motion.

How is it diagnosed?

A diagnosis of the condition is typically given after undergoing physical assessment and the present symptoms experienced by the individual. In some instances, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or X-rays are carried out to rule out other possible causes of the shoulder pain and rigidity.

Management of adhesive capsulitis

There are a variety of treatment options for adhesive capsulitis. Even though the condition typically improves on its own, improvement can take 2-3 years. In most cases, the status of the individual can improve even with conservative measures such as:

  • Application of heat
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Anti-inflammatory medications


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