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Adhesive Capsulitis

Adhesive Capsulitis - El Paso Chiropractor
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Adhesive capsulitis, best referred to as frozen shoulder, is a medical condition where the capsule around the shoulder joint contracts and develops scar tissue, leading to pain and limited movement in the affected shoulder. A frozen shoulder is commonly known to occur for unknown reasons but it is believed for certain individuals to have a higher likelihood of developing this condition, and the factors may vary according to age and gender, among other factors.

Adhesive capsulitis is recognized as the second most common cause of shoulder pain and discomfort. This condition is often difficult to diagnose, in fact it’s constantly misdiagnosed but, with careful examination, the signs and symptoms for a frozen shoulder can easily suggest the presence of a frozen shoulder.

Generally, the pain relating with a frozen shoulder is described as a dull, aching type of pain. Also, the discomfort may often surround the front, back, and side of the shoulder. Infrequently, individuals report encountering pain that extends down the upper area of the arm. The pain and discomfort of a frozen shoulder is typically mild and can be manageable whilst the arm is held at the side but, the most minor movement may trigger significant pain and discomfort.

The most characterized symptom of a frozen shoulder is restricted range of motion. While there are various shoulder conditions and injuries which can cause pain in the shoulder joint, this condition also results in significant shoulder stiffness.  

Several other shoulder conditions or injuries can challenge the movements of the arm but adhesive capsulitis can be differentiated from other conditions when the one examining the individual’s also has difficulty moving the affected arm. For example, an individual affected by a rotator cuff tear may not be able to raise the arm on their own while the examiner can certainly lift the arm overhead. People affected with a frozen shoulder don’t just experience joint weakness, but the shoulder joint is actually stiff.


By Dr. Alex Jimenez

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