What is adhesive capsulitis?
Also known as “frozen shoulder,” adhesive capsulitis is characterized by a lack of mobility in the shoulder joint.
The condition tends to develop gradually — first with a ‘freezing’ stage, in which any shoulder motion causes pain. Then comes the ‘frozen’ stage, in which pain decreases while the shoulder stiffens and range of motion decreases. Lastly, the ‘thawing’ stage occurs, and range of motion begins to improve. Adhesive capsulitis typically, though not always, resolves on its own.
Frozen shoulder occurs when the capsule of connective tissue surrounding the shoulder joint thickens and tightens, restricting range of motion. The condition is more likely to occur in patients with diabetes or patients who have recently had to immobilize their shoulder for a period following an injury.
What causes adhesive capsulitis?
Frozen shoulder can occur after the shoulder has been immobilized following an injury (a dislocated shoulder, for example). Diabetes also represents a major risk factor, and cases of frozen shoulder tend to be more severe in diabetic patients.
Medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism are also associated with higher rates of adhesive capsulitis, although the exact connection is unclear.
The most common symptoms of adhesive capsulitis include:
- Immobilization of the shoulder after injury
- Parkinson’s disease
- Heart disease
Luna’s physical therapists treat
Luna employs physical therapists in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles that specialize in treating patients suffering from adhesive capsulitis. With a focus on helping patients return to daily activities, our PTs design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s particular needs.
The best part? Luna’s physical therapists will treat you in the comfort of your own home. Patients suffering from adhesive capsulitis need only open the door — our physical therapists come to you. It’s physical therapy, delivered.