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Causes of pain and restricted movement in the shoulder


What is frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)?

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that causes pain and restricted movement in the shoulder. The joint of the shoulder is held together by a joint capsule, which becomes thickened and results in a global restriction of shoulder movement. This manifests with shoulder motion being stuck or frozen in all planes of motion, with loss of mobility especially apparent in external rotation as an early sign.

What causes frozen shoulder?
Frozen shoulder is a poorly understood disease. Genetic and environmental factors likely play an important role.

What are the symptoms of frozen shoulder?
Frozen shoulder progresses in a predictable manner.

-- Freezing Stage: In the early stages of the disease, patients report constant severe pain which can increase at night-time. This initial painful stage, is known as the ‘freezing’ or stiffening stage and typically lasts about 3 months.

-- Frozen Stage: The disease then progresses to a ‘frozen’ stage, which can last up to 9-months. This phase is characterized by less pain and marked restriction of movement. This second phase is typically has less painful.

-- Thawing Stage: Finally, the disease enters a ‘thawing’ phase where the range of movement improves and can last up to 18 months

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