Man with frozen shoulder experiencing limited shoulder mobility

What is frozen shoulder? The CityMD guide.

Have you ever wondered about persistent shoulder pain and stiffness? Well, you might be dealing with 'frozen shoulder.' Frozen shoulder can be a challenging condition, impacting daily life and comfort.

Whether you're seeking insights on its causes, tips for better sleep or effective treatment options, we're here to help.

Frozen shoulder may present challenges, but with knowledge and CityMD's caring expertise, you're not alone. Let's embark on a path to comfort and mobility together.

What is frozen shoulder?

Frozen shoulder (or adhesive capsulitis) is a complex ailment that comes with pain and stiffness as well as restricted mobility in the shoulder joint.

The joint's lining undergoes inflammation, leading to limited movement. Understanding the underlying causes and symptoms of frozen shoulder is important to help you best manage the condition.



What causes frozen shoulder?

Let's provide some insight into the causes of frozen shoulder that will empower you on your journey to relief.

  • Inflammation and immobility. The initial inflammation of a shoulder joint can lead to the formation of adhesions or scar tissue. Immobilization of the shoulder, whether due to injury, surgery or underlying conditions, can exacerbate this process.
  • Diabetes connection. Diabetes may elevate the risk of frozen shoulder. Managing diabetes becomes pivotal in addressing the root cause.
  • Age and gender influence. Those between ages 40 and 60 may find themselves more predisposed to frozen shoulder. Women are also more likely to develop frozen shoulder than men.
  • Post-injury or surgery. Injuries or surgeries that limit movement may lead to the development of adhesions. In these cases, you will need to find a careful balance between resting the shoulder and the need for movement.
  • Prolonged immobilization. Extended periods of shoulder immobility – whether due to medical conditions, post-surgery recovery or lifestyle factors – can contribute to the development of frozen shoulder.


How to sleep with frozen shoulder.

Let's explore the realm of sleep when dealing with frozen shoulder — a time when rest becomes essential for healing.

  • Use pillow support. Prop up pillows to support your affected arm. Find a comfortable position that minimizes pressure on the shoulder.
  • Sleep on your good side. Sleep on the side opposite your affected shoulder to reduce strain if possible.
  • Hug a body pillow. Embracing a body pillow can help to maintain a neutral shoulder position during sleep.
  • Adjust your bedding. Choose a softer mattress and consider adjusting your bedding to find a sleep setup that minimizes discomfort.


How to treat frozen shoulder.

Here are some ways that you can treat frozen shoulder.

  • Physical therapy. Targeted exercises guided by experienced physical therapists can improve shoulder mobility and reduce stiffness.
  • Medications. Anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers that are prescribed by your physician may help manage discomfort.
  • Heat and ice therapy. Alternating between heat and ice applications can alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Corticosteroid injections. In some cases, injecting corticosteroids directly into the shoulder joint may provide relief.
  • Joint distension. This procedure involves injecting sterile water into the joint capsule to stretch it and enhance mobility.
  • Manipulation under anesthesia (MUA). During this controlled procedure, your physician will manipulate the arm to break up scar tissue.

At CityMD, we want to help you find pain relief when needed. Whether it's providing tips for treating frozen shoulder or referring you to specialists for help, we're here for you.



Ready to reclaim your comfort and mobility? CityMD is here to guide you every step of the way. From understanding the causes of frozen shoulder to exploring sleep strategies and effective treatments, we're committed to your well-being.

At CityMD, your journey to relief starts with personalized care. Together, we will develop a plan to help you feel comfortable and get back to the activities you enjoy.

We can also recommend follow-up care with an orthopedic specialist as part of our connected care model with Summit Health. To learn more about why you should visit the Summit Health orthopedics department watch this video. Just walk into your local CityMD and start getting relief today.

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