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The frozen shoulder is a condition that features with decreased capability of one to move his/ her arm and the movements in the shoulder joint are drastically reduced. The shoulder is stiff due to the inflammation of the surrounding connective tissue. The condition usually develops suddenly and there are several possible causes that can lead to frozen shoulder.

The condition mostly affects elderly people, to be more precise those who are older than 50. Additionally, women are more susceptible to the condition comparing to men.

The Causes of Frozen Shoulder

In majority of cases a recent injury of the shoulder and surrounding structures result in frozen shoulder. The most commonly injured muscles are rotator cuff muscles. Even the very shoulder joint can be injured. In case that the injury is not so serious the consequent frozen shoulder can occur certain period after the injury. In severe injuries the problem occurs immediately after the trauma.

In certain number of patients frozen shoulder can be a consequence of the arthritis in the collar bone joint. Even arthritis of neck joints can lead to frozen shoulder.

Additional cause of this condition is immobility. A stroke, severe brain injury or trauma of spinal cord can lead to long-term immobility. In all these conditions the shoulder is not used properly.

Certain heart conditions can lead to pain in the shoulder. Still the mobility is preserved. But in case of apical lung cancers or tuberculosis which affects apex of the lungs the process may damage specific nerves and the shoulder may be affected as well. These are also other possible causes of frozen shoulder.

Frozen shoulder can even develop after the surgery in the shoulder area and in this case it is mostly caused by the damage of the shoulder structures or nerves that are innervating this compartment.

Some studies have shown that people who are suffering from diabetes are more susceptible to frozen shoulder comparing to general population. Even problems with thyroid gland or increased levels of cholesterol may lead to this condition.

Frozen shoulder can also be present in patients who are suffering from Parkinson's disease.

In certain number of cases the real cause cannot be established. This is why these cases are classified as idiopathic frozen shoulder.

Some scientists say that shoulder and its components can be minimally damaged in the first place and that this damage actually makes people more prone to shoulder injuries. Then the following injury leads to obvious symptoms and signs of frozen shoulder.


If one wants to prevent full development of frozen shoulder he/ she should keep on with the movements of the shoulder in the beginning of the inflammation. The pain is what discourages patients from moving their arms. Still this is not good because the less the arm is moving the more adhesions are forming and they will eventually restrict all the possible movements.

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