Commonly referred to as frozen shoulder, adhesive capsulitis is the loss of motion of the shoulder. The cause is often unknown and can come on suddenly and/or develop progressively. People affected by this condition are usually between 40 and 60 years old. Diabetes mellitus type 1 is the most common risk factor.
Patients suffering from adhesive capsulitis often experience, shoulder stiffness, pain, inability to reach overhead, and a significant decrease in range of motion.
Treatments for adhesive capsulitis vary depending on the amount of pain and the severity of the loss of motion. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, etc.), pain medication, and applying a heating pad along with physical therapy are often first-line treatments. It is common to also give a patient an injection of cortisone into the shoulder to alleviate some of the inflammation and allow for easier movement of the shoulder. Patients may require two to six months of physical therapy to fully regain motion. If pain and stiffness persists, arthroscopic surgery is sometimes necessary.