Case Study – Frozen Shoulder

December 3, 2018 | By | Reply

Patient XYZ, 50-year-old female came to PHYSIOREHAB with the following complains,

  1. Right shoulder pain since 4-5 months.
  2. Difficulty in Lifting the arm.
  3. Difficulty sleeping on right shoulder.
  4. Stiffness of right shoulder.
  5. Activities of daily living like reaching out for overhead things, combing the hair, wearing clothes, cooking, eating.

The patient is a teacher by profession and also is a housewife, she leads an active lifestyle. She consulted the orthopaedic doctor for the same who advised her medicines, icing and physiotherapy sessions.

After physical examination it was learnt:

Posture: she had protracted shoulder and downwardly rotated scapula

Movements: Her shoulder elevation movements and rotations were restricted and severely painful.

Strength: Compared to the left her right shoulder muscles including rotator cuff muscles as well as scapular muscles were weak.

Diagnosis: Patient was diagnosed with stage 1 frozen shoulder.

What is frozen shoulder?

Frozen shoulder also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint which occurs when the capsule of the shoulder, the connective tissue becomes stiff and inflamed leading to inability to move the shoulder, signs and symptoms typically begin gradually that worsen overtime and then resolve usually within 6-12 months.



  1. Gender: women are more likely to develop frozen shoulder due to changes in hormonal levels such as menopause.
  2. Diabetes: people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing frozen shoulder.
  3. Conditions such as open heart surgery, rheumatoid arthritis, mastectomy.
  4. Rotator cuff tear.
  5. Prolonged periods of inactivity.


Freezing or painful stage: Pain increases gradually making movements harder, pain worse at night, this can last from 6 weeks to 9 months.

Frozen: pain decreases at this stage, shoulder remains stiff, and this stage may last for 4-6 months.

Thawing: movement get easier and may eventually return to normal and lasts from 6-12 months.

An individualized tailor made exercise regime was made at PHYSIOREHAB for 4 months, initially twice/ week weaning off to once/ week for 4 months which focused on posture training, capsular stretches, improving ROM and strength training.




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The patient recovered completely and was pain free and able to regain the strength and overhead ranges, she was able to return back with her profession and able to carry out all daily living activities pain free.

We at PHYSIOREHAB have specialised physiotherapists who use specific techniques like joint mobilizations, taping, dry needling, etc which also aid in recovery.

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Category: Case Studies

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