Elite Facilities. Superior Care

Adhesive Capsulitis

Adhesive Capsulitis, often referred to as a 'Frozen Shoulder', is a common cause of pain and loss of function in the Australian population.

This clinical presentation is often seen in a sub-group of the population that generally includes, however is not limited to, individuals between 40 and 60 years of age. Clinically, 2% of the population will be diagnosed with Adhesive Capsulitis across their lifetime, with the condition most prevalent in those with diabetes (11%). Women are also more likely than men to develop Adhesive Capsulitis for a variety of reasons.

Clinically, Adhesive Capsulitis is characterised as an increasing level of pain and stiffness in the shoulder and within the sports medicine setting, individuals will often present during the painful stage of the condition. In some instances, however, the pain associated with the condition can subside, but may still leave stiffness within the shoulder joint. This stiffness will impact greatly on an individuals ability to complete normal daily activities.

The condition often results from a predisposing injury to a structure within the shoulder joint. This then leads to an inflammatory response which impacts on the shoulder joint's fibrous capsule. This fibrous capsule is usually elastic in nature and provides a great deal of motion in the normal joint, however, as this structure becomes inflamed, pain with movement ensues and stiffening of the normal elastic capsule occurs.

Adhesive Capsulitis will effect an individual’s participation in their daily and recreational activities and it is imperative that a professional such as a physiotherapist correctly assesses the shoulder pain, so that diagnosis of the cause is accurate

The management of this condition can include the use of medications to assist with pain relief and inflammation, as well as exercise rehabilitation. In some cases other interventions such as injections and surgery may be required if significant change from more conservative measures fail.

Chris Tandy
Recover Sports Medicine

If you have any questions regarding this post, or wish to book in to see our Physiotherapists, please call us on 1300 858 774 or email contact@recoversportsmed.com.au

  • Melbourne Rebels
  • Victorian Institute of Sport
  • Melbourne Mustangs
  • Williamstown VFL
  • Melbourne Aces
  • Gold Coast Suns
  • Sydney Swans
  • South Caulfield Cricket Club
  • Melbourne Cricket Club
Recover Sports Medicine Working at the Top Level
Memberships and Associations
  • Sports Dietitians Australia
  • Myotherapy Association Australia
  • Polestar Pilates Australia
  • Sports Medicine Australia
  • Australian Association of Massage Therapists
  • Medicare
  • Dietitians Association of Australia
  • Australasian Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine
  • Worksafe
  • Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians
  • The Australian Psychological Society
  • Australian Podiatry Association (Vic.)
  • APPI Pilates
  • Exercise and Sports Science Australia
  • Australian Physiotherpay Association
  • Department of Veteran's Affairs