Medical Q&As

Frozen shoulder - what to do?

I have been diagnosed as having a frozen shoulder and will see a specialist very soon. What causes this and what treatment may I expect?

Frozen shoulder is a very imprecise term. The term refers to a significant reduction in shoulder movement that can interfere with the tasks of everyday living such as washing, dressing, combing your hair and scratching your back. Such restrictions of shoulder movement could be due to arthritis, damage to muscles or ligaments, inflammation of the capsule of the shoulder joint or an unresolved old injury. The specialist will attempt to make a more precise diagnosis from which the treatment plan will be derived. Usually the treatment involves physiotherapy in order to achieve an increase in the range of movement in the affected shoulder. Sometimes joint injection may be necessary. Treatment may take some weeks in order to achieve even minor improvement. However, this is worth pursuing because the limitation in shoulder movement will only get worse over time if neglected.