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What is a Frozen Shoulder?

A frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is when motion of the shoulder joint is restricted. The cause of frozen shoulders isn’t well understood, and it usually happens randomly for no known reason. A frozen will cause the capsule around the shoulder joint to contract, which forms scar tissue.

Causes of a Frozen Shoulder

frozen-shoulderGenerally, a frozen shoulder will occur without an associated injury or cause. It’s possible for a patient to develop a frozen shoulder after some sort of injury, but that is usually not the case.

There are risk factors for a frozen shoulder, which include the following:

Endocrine Disorders – Those with diabetes are at risk for developing a frozen shoulder. Other endocrine problems, such as a thyroid problem, can lead to a frozen shoulder.

Age and Gender – A frozen shoulder mostly affects people between 40 – 60 years of age. It is twice more common in women than it is in men.

Shoulder Surgery or Trauma – Other shoulder injuries or a shoulder related surgery can lead to frozen shoulders. If prolonged joint immobilization occurs after a surgery or injury, the risk is higher.

Other Conditions – Other conditions such as Parkinson’s or heart disease have been linked to increased risk of a frozen shoulder.

It is not understood why some people develop a frozen shoulder. It seems that randomly their shoulder joint becomes stiff and scarred. Normally the shoulder allows more movement than any other joint in the body. The shoulder is made of two parts, the ball and the socket. The ball is the top of the arm bone, and the socket is part of the shoulder blade. A capsule of tissue surrounds this ball and socket piece, making it enveloped. When a frozen shoulder occurs, this capsule of tissue becomes contracted. Bands of scar tissue known as adhesions start to occur. A combination of the capsule contracting and the formation of the adhesions are what cause the shoulder to be stiff and the pain to form.