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Frozen Shoulder

Updated: Nov 11, 2022

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder or its other terms adhesive capsulitis is a relative common condition affecting typically women between ages 40 and 60 that comes on for no good reason.

Frozen shoulder is classically described in 3 phases. The first phase is known as the freezing phase. Clinically patients complain primarily of pain at that point, and not so much stiffness. The second phase is the frozen phase and that point pain often diminishes but the shoulder can be markedly stiff.

Patient will eventually enter the thawing phase where the shoulder's motion slowly improves but some pain may linger. In many cases, frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is a self limiting condition, meaning that eventually it does get better, sometimes completely on its own but that process can take sometimes up to two years or more.

What are the symptoms of a frozen shoulder?

The main and initial symptom of a frozen shoulder is pain. The pain it can be very intense and that causes you to limit your movement.

Lack of movement increases shoulder's stiffness. Before long, you find that you can't move your shoulder as you once did. Reaching for an item, put a t-shirt on, taking a coat off and every day tasks like those become difficult, if not impossible.

What are the causes of Frozen Shoulder?

The ligaments , the tendons and the bones are enclosed in a capsule of connective tissue. Frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule gets tight around the shoulder joint, restricting its movement.

Frozen shoulder can sometimes develop if you have a shoulder injury, such as a long head of biceps tendon injury or a rotator cuff injury. if you leave your shoulder untreated while you have those injuries, then there is a risk of developing frozen shoulder.

Certain conditions can increase the risk of developing frozen shoulder. 10 to 20% of people with diabetes get frozen shoulder. Other medical conditions like thyroid, heart and Parkinson's disease are also linked to frozen shoulder too.

Diagnosis of Frozen shoulder

A physical examination in the clinic is usually enough to diagnose frozen shoulder. You might need and X-ray or MRI scan in order to find out the extent of the problem and other possibly underlying causes.

Did you know?

  • Frozen shoulder affects 3-5% of adults

  • Females are 4 times more often affected than men

  • the non-dominant shoulder is more prone to be affected

  • 36% of diabetic patients develops frozen shoulder

Physiotherapy treatment for a frozen shoulder

At Physio Pattern Manchester we are specialised in assessing and treating people with a frozen shoulder.

At Physio Pattern Manchester we will do a thorough assessment in order to find the real cause of your frozen shoulder. A treatment plan will be developed to ensure a speedy recovery with long term results and no recurrence. An Individualised exercise program will be prescribed to you as well.

Physio Pattern Manchester is going to use some of the modalities below as assessment and treatment tools (click on the links below for more information).

If you would like more information of how Physio Pattern Manchester can help with this condition, or to book an assessment please call


Leading Physiotherapy Provider in Manchester. Frozen Shoulder treatment in Manchester, Physiotherapy Treatment in Manchester city centre, Northern Quarter, Ancoats.Physio Manchester, Manchester Physio, Physio Manchester City Centre, Physiotherapy clinic in Manchester.


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