Symptoms and Signs of Frozen Shoulder

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 2/4/2022

Doctor's Notes on Frozen Shoulder Symptoms, Pain Relief, Causes,Treatment, and Surgery

A shoulder joint that has lost a substantial range of motion in all directions is considered a frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulder symptoms and signs include

  • limited range of motion in all directions around the joint,
  • painful shoulder if you or your doctor tries to move a shoulder past its limited range of motion, even when the person is relaxed, and the
  • shoulder may be painless if it is not moved or if it is moved minimally.

What Is the Treatment for Frozen Shoulder?

Most frozen shoulders get better within about 1-18 months without interventions. Treatments for frozen shoulder are as follows, depending on the severity of symptoms and signs:

  • Medications
  • Therapy: exercises to improve range of motion
  • Steroid injections into the shoulder joint
  • Sterile water injections to stretch joint tissues
  • Shoulder manipulation under general anesthesia
  • Surgery: removal of scar tissue and adhesions in the joint

According to your personal condition, your doctor can design a treatment plan that is best for your problem.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.