Frozen Shoulder, or Adhesive Capsulitis, is a condition causing severe pain and stiffness in the shoulder. An injury, Diabetes, overuse or some other factors may lead to stiffening of tissues around the shoulder joint accompanied by formation of scar tissues which may lead to pain and restrict its movement.The shoulder is a ball and socket joint in which the proximal humerus (rounded top of the arm bone) fits into a socket shaped scapula. In case of a Frozen Shoulder, the joint capsule thickens or swells, leading to restriction of motion of the bones. The condition is commonly observed in the people aged 40-60 years of age. The patient may take a year to recover from the effects of a Frozen Shoulder. There are three main stages of a Frozen Shoulder:

Freezing Stage – The shoulder may feel stiff and pain increases with time. Movement is gradually restricted and the patient may experience maximum pain while sleeping

Frozen Stage – The patient may feel pain as well as stiffness and motion is limited. The pain does not increase beyond this stage.

Thawing Stage – Flexibility and range of motion may improve gradually as well as the pain may diminish.


  • Direct injury or trauma to the shoulder
  • Overuse of the upper arm or shoulder joint
  • Aging
  • An after effect of menopause in women
  • Health related issues such as Diabetes, Arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, cardio-vascular problems or stroke
  • Surgery or immobilization of the shoulder joint for a long period Fracture in the arm
  • Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism
  • Injury to the rotator cuff


  • Pain that increases gradually
  • Stiffness
  • Loss of motion in the shoulder
  • Difficulty sleeping due to severe pain


  • A detailed examination of range of motion and symptoms by an orthopedic doctor
  • Evaluation of the patient’s medical history to assess the potential underlying cause
  • The doctor may press the affected joint to check for swelling and also move it in different directions to analyze range of motion
  • MRI and X-ray may be recommended to evaluate damage to the joint


  • Application of alternate hot and cold packs to reduce pain as well as swelling
  • Prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Practicing gentle stretching exercises to restore flexibility and motion
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, i.e. application of electric pads to numb the pain causing nerve endings in the spinal cord
  • Manipulation in which the patient’s arm is moved in various directions under the effect of general anesthesia to loosen the tight muscles
  • Arthroscopic surgery to remove scar tissue or release the tight tissues
  • Joint Distension, which involves injection of sterile water into the joint to stretch the tissues

OrthoTexas provides complete diagnosis and treatment for Frozen Shoulder.