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Frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, occurs when the tissues of the shoulder capsule become thick, stiff, and inflamed. It is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 60, and occurs in women more often than men.

Causes and risk factors

The cause of this condition is not fully understood. It may occur after the shoulder has been immobilized for a period of time due to a surgery or injury. Frozen shoulder occurs more in people with diabetes and certain medical problems such as Parkinson’s disease, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and cardiac disease.


  • Limited motion (or freezing) of the shoulder
  • Can be accompanied by a dull, aching pain in the outer shoulder area


Most patients improve with non-surgical treatment options, including anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, and physical therapy. Surgery may be recommended if the condition does not improve.