Adhesive Capsulitis – Frozen Shoulder: Definition, Stages, Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors & Treatment

What is Adhesive Capsulitis?

Adhesive capsulitis, also known as frozen shoulder, is a condition where pain and stiffness in the shoulder gradually make the shoulder more and more difficult to move. In this condition, stiff bands of tissue (adhesions) develop and the shoulder capsule thickens. There is also less synovial fluid, a lubricant that helps the shoulder to move, in the joint. Frozen shoulder occurs in about 2% of the population, in women more so than men.

Adhesive Capsulitis Stages

There are 3 stages that occur during the course of a frozen shoulder. The first stage is called freezing, where pain increases and range of motion decreases. The second stage is called frozen, with less pain but a lot of stiffness. The final stage is called thawing, when the shoulder’s range of motion gradually returns to normal. 

Causes & Risk Factors for Adhesive Capsulitis

Although the actual cause of adhesive capsulitis is not well understood, certain risk factors increase the likelihood of developing frozen shoulder: 

  1. Diabetes Mellitus
  2. Stroke
  3. Lung Disease
  4. Thyroid Disease (hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism)
  5. Connective Tissue Diseases
  6. Cardiac Diseases
  7. Parkinson’s disease
  8. Long term immobilization (from a surgery, fracture, or other injury)

Symptoms of Adhesive Capsulitis

Symptoms of adhesive capsulitis include:

  1. Dull or aching pain
  2. Unable to move shoulder on your own or with help
  3. Pain that is worse at night or in cold weather

Adhesive Capsulitis Treatment

Advanced Soft Tissue Release (abbreviated as ASTR) is a new specialty that is revolutionizing the way patients experience long-term pain relief. ASTR treats pain from adhesive capsulitis in a gentle, effective, and natural way by releasing scar tissue and fascia restriction around the shoulder. ASTR takes a holistic approach to address the root causes of pain, not just the symptoms. Many patients experience relief from pain after their first treatment!Patients are also given customized exercise programs to help decrease inflammation and strengthen surrounding muscles so that patients can return to normal activities. ASTR treatment can be done at home for frozen shoulder.

Adhesive Capsulitis - Frozen Shoulder Home Treatment

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