What is Frozen shoulder?

Found in the 35 year plus age range Adhesive Capsulitis or Frozen Shoulder is a condition causing pain and restricted movement in the shoulder joint.

There are three phases that the condition will progress through namely ‘freezing’ where the joint tightens up or goes into a type of spasm, a ‘stiffening’ phase where the movement in the shoulder is reduced and a ‘thawing’ phase where the pain gradually reduces and mobility returns.

Freezing phase

– The freezing phase of frozen shoulder symptoms starts with a gradual onset of aching in the shoulder. The pain will  become more widespread and much worse at night making lying on the affected side difficult. This phase can last between 2 and 12 months.

Frozen phase

– In the second phase the shoulder joint will begin to stiffen up. The shoulder is likely to be very painful and stiff. Normal living and the most mundane daily tasks become very difficult indeed. Shoulder muscles often begin to weaken through lack of use. Symptoms during the frozen phase can last between 3 and 12 months.

Thawing phase

– In the thawing phase frozen shoulder symptoms begin to slowly improve. The range of movement will increase and there is a gradual reduction in pain although may return as stiffness eases for a while. The thawing phase can last 5 to 12 months or so.

How Osteopathy can help

Many cases will resolve on their own over a 1-2 year period, however it is a very, very slow recovery process. A combination of osteopathy and acupuncture can greatly speed up the rate of progress.

Frozen shoulder