Restoring function and range of motion to the shoulder
Pain relief with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs—To help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Muscle relaxants—To help relax arm and shoulder muscles.
Physical therapy—To stretch muscles and restore motion and function to the shoulder. This is the foundation of treatment. It requires home exercise.
Heat and ice therapies—To help relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Corticosteroid injections—As prescribed and given by your doctor (rarely done for this condition).
Low-level laser therapy and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy—May have some benefit, but evidence is mixed. It may be used alone or with other therapies.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy—To stimulate healing using shock waves outside of the body
surgery is a forceful movement of the arm at the shoulder joint. It is done to loosen the stiffness. The surgery is performed under anesthesia. The procedure is followed by intensive physical therapy.
arthroscopic surgery, a small incision is made in the shoulder. Special small instruments are inserted through the incision. The tightened tissues are released. The shoulder is manipulated. Physical therapy must be done after this procedure.
Capsular distension is often done as a combination of an arthrogram and corticosteroid injection. The doctor expands the shoulder joint by injecting salt water under pressure. The fluid may contain cortisone and may also contain a dye that allows the shape and character of the shoulder joint to be seen.
Frozen shoulder may recur. To help prevent frozen shoulder:
exercises. This will help maintain a strong and flexible shoulder joint.
Seek prompt treatment for a shoulder injury.
Do activities that use your shoulder joint regularly.
After injury to an upper extremity (such as, hand, wrist, elbow), always move the shoulder through a full range of motion several times a day. This is true even when lying in bed for an illness such as a lung infection.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Adhesive capsulitis of shoulder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 6, 2014. Accessed September 29, 2014.
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.