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Adhesive Capsulitis (Shoulder) treatment guide

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Guide Overview

A brief summary of what you'll find inside our treatment guide.


Adhesive Capsulitis, or ‘frozen shoulder’ as it’s more commonly known, is a chronic condition, which means that it often develops over a long period.

Causes (Aetiology)

Adhesive Capsulitis is caused by swelling and inflammation within the capsule that surrounds and lubricates the shoulder joint. Over time repeated inflammation causes scar tissue and adhesions to form within the shoulder capsule resulting in pain and reduced range of movement.

Signs and symptoms

Adhesive Capsulitis often feels better with rest and a little pain relief but without effective rehabilitation, it becomes progressively worse and makes normal activity, sport, and exercise increasingly painful.

Symptoms include:

  • Severe pain and stiffness into the affected shoulder
  • Difficulty raising the arm above 90 degrees.
  • Pain lying on the side, making sleeping difficult
  • Muscle wasting at the top of the arm and shoulder

Acute phase management

Most people fail in their treatment of Adhesive Capsulitis because they are unable to identify the cause of their pain. Once the source has been identified, effective steps can be taken to manage the symptoms.

Our treatment guide will help you to identify what’s causing your pain and create the right conditions to begin effective rehabilitation.

Post-acute phase management

Post-acute phase rehabilitation involves the staged introduction of isometric, concentric and eccentric muscle stretches, scar tissue removal, and proprioceptive exercises to clear the shoulder capsule and strengthen the connective tissues.

Condition-specific exercises will help you achieve a full, pain-free range of movement to stop the symptoms coming back.


Adhesive Capsulitis responds well to self-treatment and conservative care; although recovery times are dependent on the severity of the condition and how diligent you are with your rehabilitation.

Our treatment guide provides comprehensive tips and advice to achieve a full recovery in the shortest possible time.


If you follow the treatment guide correctly and are diligent with the rehabilitation programme, then complications are unlikely.

However, without the correct treatment, there may be ongoing pain, stiffness, and reduced range of movement.

Periodic stretching and joint mobilisation reduce adhesions and inflammation are some of the techniques contained in the treatment guide to help prevent reoccurrence.

Start today and fast track your recovery!

The guide contains all the latest clinical advice in musculoskeletal healthcare.

You can save hundreds of pounds or dollars on expensive physical therapy by treating the condition simply and effectively at home.

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Adhesive Capsulitis (Shoulder) treatment guide

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