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Frozen shoulder

Adhesive capsulitis

Our expert physiotherapists can help relieve the pain of a frozen shoulder and work with you to restore movement

About

A frozen shoulder is when the lining tissue of the shoulder joint (glenhumeral) thickens and stiffens. The cause is unknown but injuries can trigger frozen shoulder, and it's more common in diabetic people.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of frozen shoulder icon plus

    Overall, stiffness and pain are the main symptoms of a frozen shoulder. It may literally feel frozen, and impossible to move. There tends to be three stages: - The first stage is a sharp pain when you try and move your shoulder. This usually gets worse at night and can last between six to nine months - The second is the frozen stage, where your shoulder becomes less painful but very stiff. This lasts between four months to a year. - The third is where your shoulder slowly returns to normal — this can take up to five years
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Your consultant will discuss your symptoms with you to help make a diagnosis. Your shoulder will be examined. They may refer you for an X-ray or MRI scan to ensure there are no other causes of your shoulder pain.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    A frozen shoulder is treated according to your symptoms. You may be offered the following treatment. - physiotherapy to optimize muscle and joint recovery - a steroid injection (hydrodistension), to reduce pain, improve movement and make physio less uncomfortable - a keyhole operation to release the restricting tissues
Consultant in theatres

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We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

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From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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