What is the Main Cause of Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. While the exact cause of frozen shoulder is not always clear, it is believed to result from a combination of factors. The main causes and contributing factors to frozen shoulder include:

  • Inflammation: Inflammation of the shoulder joint’s lining (synovium) can lead to the development of scar tissue and thickening of the joint capsule, which limits its range of motion. The inflammation can be triggered by various factors, including injury or underlying medical conditions.
  • Immobilization: Lack of use or immobilization of the shoulder joint, such as after surgery, injury, or a period of reduced mobility, can contribute to the development of frozen shoulder. The joint needs regular movement to maintain its flexibility.
  • Trauma or injury: A shoulder injury, such as a fracture or surgery, can increase the risk of developing frozen shoulder. The joint’s response to trauma may involve inflammation and the formation of adhesions.
  • Underlying medical conditions: Certain medical conditions are associated with an increased risk of frozen shoulder, including diabetes, as well as thyroid disorders and autoimmune diseases like lupus.
  • Hormonal changes: Some hormonal changes or imbalances may contribute to the development of frozen shoulder. For example, postmenopausal women are at a higher risk of developing this condition.
  • Age and gender: Frozen shoulder is more common in individuals between the ages of 40 and 60, and it is more frequently diagnosed in women than men.
  • Genetic factors: There may be a genetic predisposition to developing frozen shoulder in some cases, as it can run in families.

It’s important to note that while these factors are associated with the development of frozen shoulder, the condition can sometimes occur without an obvious underlying cause. The hallmark of frozen shoulder is pain and progressive stiffness in the shoulder joint, which can significantly limit a person’s ability to move their arm.

Treatment for frozen shoulder typically involves a combination of physical therapy, pain management, and sometimes medication to reduce inflammation. In severe cases, a doctor may recommend more invasive treatments such as corticosteroid injections or even surgical intervention to release the joint capsule.

If you suspect you have frozen shoulder or are experiencing symptoms, it’s essential to seek medical evaluation and treatment to prevent further complications and improve shoulder mobility and function.