Adhesive capsulitis, or “frozen shoulder” is a less common condition, effecting up to 5% of the population but it can be quite a debilitating condition. Pain and stiffness of the shoulder can have a huge effect on activities of daily living and impair quality of life(1). The good news is that adhesive capsulitis often involves the nondominant arm, although both arm involvement has been reported in up to 40% to 50% of cases(2).
If left untreated, adhesive capsulitis is a condition that can easily spiral out of control, and before you know it, arm movement can be severely restricted. On top of this, without a treatment plan it can be difficult to measure and track progress as well as know when to progress exercises.
A structured treatment plan and program can do wonders for a stiff sore shoulder. Research emphasises that physiotherapy is the first line of treatment for adhesive capsulitis. During the early stages while pain is dominant, physiotherapy will focus on mobilising the shoulder and maintaining/improving the range(4). Once pain has settled, studies have found that a tailored exercise and stretching program leads to satisfaction in 90% of patients(5).
So if you’re sick of sick of not being able to reach into the top shelf, or washing your hair has become a nightmare then now is the time to kick your shoulder into gear!
- Hard Tissue (2013), 2(5), 75-84
- Curr. Rev. Musculoskelet. Med. (2008), 1(3-4), 180-189
- Med. Hypotheses (2016), 88, 12-17
- JSES (2004), 13(5), 499-502
- J. Bone Jt. Surg. (2000), 82(10), 1398-1407