- Active range of motion is lost—You cannot move your shoulder well.
- Passive range of motion is lost—Someone trying to move your arm at the shoulder joint will find it stiff and difficult to move.
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- Painful shoulder
- Much reduced movement of the arm at the shoulder joint, either by yourself or by someone else
- Relieving pain
- Restoring function and range of motion to the shoulder
- Pain relief with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs—To help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Muscle relaxants—To help relax arm and shoulder muscles.
- Physical therapy—To stretch muscles and restore motion and function to the shoulder. This is the foundation of treatment. It requires home exercise.
- Heat and ice therapies—To help relieve pain and reduce swelling.
- Corticosteroid injections—As prescribed and given by your doctor (rarely done for this condition).
- Low-level laser therapy and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy—May have some benefit, but evidence is mixed. It may be used alone or with other therapies.
- Do regular strength training and range-of-motion exercises. This will help maintain a strong and flexible shoulder joint.
- Seek prompt treatment for a shoulder injury.
- Do activities that use your shoulder joint regularly.
- After injury to an upper extremity (such as, hand, wrist, elbow), always move the shoulder through a full range of motion several times a day. This is true even when lying in bed for an illness such as a lung infection.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Adhesive capsulitis of shoulder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 6, 2014. Accessed September 29, 2014.
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Garcilazo C, Cavallasca JA, et al. Shoulder manifestations of diabetes mellitus. Curr Diabetes Rev. 2010 Sep;6(5):334-340.
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Woodward TW, Best TM. The painful shoulder part I: clinical evaluation. Am Fam Physician. 2000;61(10):3079-3088.
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5/7/2014 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Kelley MJ, Shaffer MA, et al. Shoulder pain and mobility deficits: adhesive capsulitis. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2013 May;43(5):A1-31.
11/6/2014 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Page MJ, Green S, et al. Electrotherapy modalities for adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;10:CD011324.
- Reviewer: Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 11/06/2014 -