Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis) - FAQ

Frequently asked questions

A: For quick relief, apply hot and cold compresses several times a day to reduce mild pain and discomfort.

For long-term relief, consider physiotherapy and home-based exercises, as these can help to improve your range of motion. Examples of home-based exercises include:

  • External rotation passive stretches
  • Forward flexions in the supine position
  • Crossover arm stretches

A: Your doctor will refer you to a physical therapist who will teach you a number of exercises to stretch your joint and strengthen your muscles. Generally, these exercises involve gentle and circular movements that may go up-and-down or side-to-side.

One such exercise is the internal rotation stretch, which you can do with a towel:

  1. Drape a bath towel over your stiff shoulder and hold one end of the towel in your hand at shoulder level.
  2. Reach your other hand behind your back and grab the other end of the towel.
  3. Pull the towel up your back until you feel a stretch in your shoulder.
  4. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds.
  5. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

After your stretches and exercises, you should ice your joint.

A: The exact link between frozen shoulder and diabetes is not known yet.

However, studies have shown that patients with diabetes are more likely to get shoulder disorders such as frozen shoulder and rotator cuff disease.

A: There is no clear link between frozen shoulder and other diseases. If you suspect you have a health condition, book a health screening today.

A: If you have a frozen shoulder, you will likely feel a dull pain in your shoulder and the shoulder muscles that wrap around the top of your arm. The pain may worsen at night and make it difficult for you to sleep.

The tightness of the shoulder capsule may also limit your range of movement.

A: No, a frozen shoulder does not cause swollen lymph nodes.

If you experience both frozen shoulder and swollen lymph nodes, you should see a doctor to diagnose the cause of your condition.

A: No, a frozen shoulder should not cause chest pain.

If you experience both frozen shoulder and chest pain, you should see a doctor to diagnose the cause of your chest pain.

A: No, frozen shoulder is usually not a permanent condition.

While the shoulder pain may improve on its own without treatment, you may continue to experience limitations in your range of motion. It is best to seek treatment early, as most patients recover from frozen shoulder within a year of seeking non-surgical or surgical treatment.

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