All you should know about Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is a situation wherein your shoulder joints are affected. It involves typically pain and stiffness that happens gradually, gets more severe and then finally passes away. This can be prevalent anywhere from some months to 3 years.

Your shoulder is built up of three bones that make a ball-and-socket joint. They are your topmost arm (humerus), shoulder edge (scapula), and the collarbone (clavicle). There’s also tissue encircling your shoulder joint that keeps everything together. This is called the shoulder capsule.

With frozen shoulder, the capsule converts so thick and tight that it’s difficult to move. Bands of scar series form and there’s less of liquid named synovial fluid to have the joint lubricated. These things restrict motion even more.

In this article, Dr Ratnav Ratan tells about the causes and treatment of frozen shoulder treatment. Dr Ratnav Ratan is one of the best orthopedic doctor in Gurgaon. He works in CK Birla Hospital and Young Bones Clinic. He holds expertise in sports injuries and Pediatric orthopaedic in Gurgaon with 13+ years of expertise.

What are the symptoms of frozen shoulder?

The main symptoms of a frozen shoulder are soreness and stiffness that makes it hard or impossible to move it. If you have frozen shoulder, you’ll probably feel a heavy or achy pain in one shoulder. You might also sense the strain in the shoulder muscles that cover around the top of your arm. You might observe the same sensation in your upper arm. Your sprain could get more severe at night, which can make it difficult to sleep. You’ll typically go by three states with a frozen shoulder. Each has its own unique signs and timeline.

Freezing stage:

  • You realise a pain (seldom severe) in your shoulder any point you move it.
  • It gradually gets worse over time and may ache more at night.
  • This can remain anywhere from 6 to 9 months.
  • You’re restricted in how far you can move the shoulder.

Frozen stage:

  • Your ache might get mild, but your stiffness becomes worse.
  • Using your shoulder becomes more complicated, and it becomes more challenging to get through regular activities.
  • This phase can last anywhere from 4-12 months.

Thawing stage:

  • Your area of shoulder motion starts to go back to normal.
  • This can get anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.

What causes frozen shoulder?

It’s not known why some people develop it, but some people are more at risk. Frozen shoulder occurs more often in women than men, and you’re more prone to get it if you’re within the ages of 40 and 60. Your danger might also go up if you’re in the means of recovering from a medical condition such as a stroke, or operation like a mastectomy that prevents you from moving your arm.

Some medical conditions can raise your risk too. You may also be more inclined to get a frozen shoulder if you have diabetes. Around 10% to 20% of individual with diabetes get frozen shoulder. Other medical issues like heart disease, thyroid disease, or Parkinson’s syndrome are associated to frozen shoulder, also.


According to Dr Ratnav Ratan, to diagnose frozen shoulder one should always choose big cities like Mumbai, Gurgaon or chennai, because of the availability of resource and good doctors.There your physician will give you a physical exam. They’ll examine it to see how severely it hurts and how far it goes. While the “active” section of the exam, they’ll let you roll your shoulder on your own. During the “passive” part, they’ll roll it for you, and record the differences.

Your doctor may choose an injection of an anaesthetic in your shoulder. This is a prescription that will numb the pain so that they can properly judge your active and passive scales of motion.

A physical test is usually sufficient to diagnose frozen shoulder. Still, your doctor may also request imaging tests like X-rays, ultrasound, or MRI to control out other issues like arthritis or a ripped rotator cuff that can also induce pain and restrict how far it moves.


Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can assist relieve the pain and swelling in your shoulder. If they don’t help, your physician might order a more vital medication.

Your therapy might also involve going to a therapist for strengthening and stretching workouts to develop your range of motion.

If your signs are intense or don’t change over time, your doctor might suggest other kinds of treatments, including:

  • Corticosteroid injection in your shoulder joint to lessen your pain and increase your range of motion.
  • Joint distension. This means your doctor will vaccinate sterile water into your shoulder capsule to expand it. This can help you migrate your shoulder more comfortably.
  • Physical therapy. Effects with this are mixed, and it may be more beneficial through certain phases of the frozen shoulder than others.
  • Surgery. This is very unusual to treat frozen shoulder. But if other approaches haven’t helped, your doctor may recommend surgery. It likely would be an arthroscopic method. That means it’s conducted with lighted, pencil-sized instruments that are injected through tiny cuts in your shoulder.
  • Shoulder manipulation can assist loosen up your shoulder tissue but is pretty rarely done anymore because the arthroscopic operation has replaced it. Surgeons would forcibly move the shoulder under standard anaesthesia. With this system, there was an enhanced risk of complexities, including fractures.


One of the most frequent causes of frozen shoulder is the stiffness that may occur during recovery from shoulder pain, broken arm or a stroke. If you’ve had damage that makes it hard to move your shoulder, talk to your physician about activities, you can do to have the range of motion in your shoulder joint.