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What causes a frozen shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is the result of inflammation, scarring, thickening, and shrinkage of the capsule that surrounds the normal shoulder joint. Any injury to the shoulder can lead to a frozen shoulder, including tendinitis, bursitis, and rotator cuff injury (rotator cuff syndrome). Frozen shoulders occur more frequently in patients with risk factors of diabetes, chronic inflammatory arthritis of the shoulder, or after chest or breast surgery. Long-term immobility of the shoulder joint can put people at risk to develop a frozen shoulder.

Return to Frozen Shoulder

See what others are saying

Comment from: Wanda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

I was weeding my garden and fell backwards. I caught myself with my right arm. Since then I have had progressive pain down my upper arm and shoulder. I went to physical therapy for the frozen shoulder with, in my view, a sympathetic physical therapist. The pain became progressively worse, especially after therapy. He suggested I see an orthopedist for a cortisone injection. My appointment is next week.

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Comment from: poppy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 15

I am 47, and am in my perimenopausal stage of my life. I am 3 or 4 years into it. I am still having the odd random period, but they are getting less and less. I have coped with night sweats since the start. The rest of the symptoms I am experiencing are paranoia, anxiety, and mood swings. I am now thinking of taking doctor's advice as these symptoms are effecting every aspect of my life, friends, job, family, decision making and my personality is changing. This is scary! I am a naturally bubble happy person, but I am feeling down and paranoid beyond rationality. I am not liking any of this and have absolutely no control over my mind, feelings and reality.

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Comment from: LoriLee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 30

I was diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis yesterday. It's been hurting since 7 months. Left arm slowly froze to my side. Doctor is not sure of cause. I was moving cinder blocks and was tired but not hurt. I also have heart condition but haven't been to the heart doctor in some time. I have heart arrhythmia so not sure it wasn't heart related. I am starting physical therapy tomorrow, don't want this pain forever.

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