Having a hard time taking your favourite book off the overhead shelf? Here’s how you can release a frozen shoulder 

The frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a medical condition characterised by stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. It restricts shoulder movement, and the symptoms gradually worsen over a while. In addition, patients can experience swelling in the shoulder, which leads to restricted mobility. Usually, the frozen shoulder condition affects only one shoulder, but, in some cases, both shoulders can be affected whenever you’re recovering from a medical condition that prevents moving your arm, your chances of developing a frozen shoulder increase.

Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder 

Frozen shoulder is commonly identified by the common signs and symptoms such as pain and stiffness in the shoulder. However, the severity of the symptoms varies to a great extent.

The pain gradually increases in stages:

  1. Freezing Stage- This is the first stage of this condition and typically lasts for about two to nine months. Patients experience severe pain in the shoulder, especially at night. The range of motion starts to become limited.
  2. Frozen Stage- Pain begins to diminish during this stage, but the stiffness remains. Your shoulder becomes stiffer, and it becomes difficult to use it. This can last for about four to twelve months.
  3. Thawing Stage- The range of motion starts to improve during this stage. Complete return to normal motion can take up to six months to two years.


There can be several reasons for this medical condition. First, there is no clear nexus to arm dominance or occupation. However, a few factors may put you at more risk than others. These can include:

Diabetes: People with diabetes are more likely to develop frozen shoulder conditions. Diabetic patients also have a greater degree of stiffness than others that continue to stay for a longer period.

Immobilisation: Frozen shoulder can develop after surgery, a fracture or an injury that leads to immobilisation of the arm. One way to prevent this is having patients move their shoulders soon after surgery. 

Treatments for Frozen Shoulder 

Doctors might recommend different treatments depending on the severity of the condition and the pain level. These can include-

  • Acupuncture 
  • Shoulder mobilisation exercises
  • Muscle strengthening and releasing exercises
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines reduce pain and swelling.
  • Hydrodilatation- Doctors inject a large volume of sterile fluid into your shoulder joint to expand and stretch the joint capsule.
  • Physical therapy will help in restoring the range of motion.
  • Surgical treatments and other conservative methods are used if patients do not get relief from physical therapy. 

Call us today for a consultation. Our very own specialist, Dr Reetadyuti Mukhopadhyay is at your service to assist you.