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  • Writer's pictureNischay Modi


Updated: Sep 22, 2022

Frozen Shoulder, known in the medical community as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that causes severe, painful restriction of motion in the shoulder joint. The pain, swelling and stiffness make everyday activities more difficult, gradually worsens over time, and even affects your ability to have a restful night’s sleep.

Frozen shoulder causes the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint to contract and form scar tissue that prevents the shoulder bone from being able to move freely in the socket. The shoulder literally seems to be “frozen” in place, which is why it is called frozen shoulder.

The condition is twice as likely to develop in women than in men, typically affects those between the ages of 40 and 60, but can also develop after a shoulder injury, shoulder surgery, or even after vaccinations in the shoulder muscle. When injury or surgery is followed by prolonged joint immobilization such as putting the shoulder in a sling, the risk of developing frozen shoulder is highest.


These are some of the most commonly reported Frozen Shoulder Symptoms:

  • Shoulder pain - usually a dull, aching pain

  • Pain when trying to sleep on the affected shoulder

  • Limited movement, with severe pain if it is moved beyond a certain range

  • Difficulty with activities such as brushing teeth, washing hair, getting dressed

Patients with advanced-stage symptoms may experience:

  • Neck pain

  • Upper shoulder pain

  • Elbow/forearm pain

  • Neck stiffness

  • Headaches

  • Numbness in the hands



Most sufferers first become aware of the conditions by experiencing a dull, aching pain in their shoulder. In this first stage of frozen shoulder – which can last anywhere from two to nine months – the shoulder becomes painful, and stiffness slowly builds up, limiting a person’s overall movement.


During the second stage, the pain begins to subside in the upper arm and shoulder, but the stiffness and limitation to range of motion in the joint capsule will increase. Patients may have a sharp, acute (nerve) pain when making sudden movements, or forceful movements beyond their normal limitations. The stage can last anywhere from four months to over a year.


During the third and final stage the shoulder eventually begins to thaw, and the range of motion will go back to normal. The thawing stages takes anywhere from two to three years in 90% of cases. However, it is important to note that in 10% of cases frozen shoulder will not disappear without medical intervention. In fact, more than half of those who go without treatment will experience permanent damage, as the body secretes enzymes into the synovial fluids of the joint, a process that eventually eats away the cartilage. In addition to deterioration of the joint, muscular atrophy (muscle waste) can also prolong recovery and make for a quite difficult recovery.


Lower Neck Disc Pathology or Nerve Compression

Frozen Shoulder almost always occurs in patients with lower neck disc conditions or muscle contraction conditions which compress the nerves supplying the shoulder and arm with motor and sensory information. (eg. thoracic outlet syndrome.)

Hormonal Imbalance

Frozen shoulder always occurs in those with hormonal imbalances such as menopause, diabetes, thyroid, adrenal stress, testosterone imbalance, etc.

Shoulder Strain Injury

Is usually undetected by patient.

Shockwave Therapy Helps Patients With Frozen Shoulders

Numerous people suffer from a health problem known as “frozen shoulder” or adhesive capsulitis. This condition inflicts substantial amounts of pain and makes it harder to move joints. Fortunately, a recent study reveals that extracorporeal shockwave therapy can deliver relief.

  • The ailment makes it difficult to work or exercise

  • Patients frequently experience considerable discomfort

  • Hard to offer a solution

In 2016, a clinical trial was conducted by two researchers named Robert Donatelli and Ahmad Hussein. They decided to a patient’s tissue.

Researcher’s’ Comments

Donatelli and Hussein noted that frozen shoulder has become a prevalent health condition, yet physicians still disagree about the best way to the researchers.

Study Methods

Two groups of 53 people took part in Hussein and Donatelli’s scientific study. These patients had been diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis by physiotherapy specialists in New York. One group experienced four shockwave therapy treatments each week for 28 days (about 4 weeks).

Members of the other group thought that they received equivalent treatments. However, the equipment did not actually transmit any energy pulses into exercise on a regular basis.

Results, Analysis

Trial participants answered questions and underwent testing three times. This happened prior to the study, after treatment ended and 140 days (about 4 and a half months) after completion. The patients who experienced real shockwave therapy found that it alleviated their medical condition in multiple ways.

  • ESWT offers favorable short-term and long-term results

  • The therapy delivered considerable relief for many patients