Frozen Shoulder, What Is It?

Blog, Shoulder, / By Shi Qi Yap

Here at Elevate Physiotherapy, we see numerous clients coming with shoulder problems. Many of them mistakenly think they have a frozen shoulder.

There are many different causes that can lead to your shoulder pain, frozen shoulder is one of the causes. Do you know what frozen shoulder is? Who is at risk of developing it? In today’s blog, we will discuss the symptoms and risks factors of frozen shoulder.

Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder typically going through these 3 stages. Each stage can last for several months.

  • Freezing Stage
    Any movement of your shoulder causes pain, and your shoulder’s range of motion starts to become limited. This stage usually lasts from 6 weeks to 9 months.
  • Frozen Stage
    Pain may begin to alleviate during this stage. However, your shoulder usually becomes stiffer, and using it becomes harder. This stage normally lasts from 4 to 6 months
  • Thawing Stage
    Your shoulder’s range of motion starts improving. This stage generally lasts between 6 months and 2 years.

Risk Factors

The causes of frozen shoulder are not fully understood. Below are few factors that may put you at a higher risk of developing frozen shoulder.

  • Age and Sex
    Frozen shoulder is more common in those over 40, particularly women.
  • Prolonged Immobility or Reduced Mobility of the Shoulder
    People with history of rotator cuff injury, arm fracture, stroke or recovery from surgery may be at higher risk of developing shoulder inflammation or stiffness. Early physiotherapy exercises following shoulder surgery is essential to prevent this condition.
  • Systemic Diseases
    Diabetes patients are more likely to get frozen shoulder at the rate of 10% to 20%, compared to the general population, which is about 2%. The cause of this is unknown. Furthermore, diabetic patients with frozen shoulder tend to have a higher level of stiffness that lasts longer before entering the thawing stage. Some additional medical problems associated with frozen shoulder include hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiac disease.

If you are suffering from shoulder pain and experiencing the symptoms stated above, we recommend you to seek for medical help before the condition worsens. If you have any more questions or would like our physiotherapists to assess or treat your problem, feel free to drop us a question or talk to us. Do check out our Instagram page too.

Yap Shi Qi

Rehab Therapist


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  2. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, August 1). Frozen Shoulder. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 15, 2022, from
  3. Pietro Tonino, M. D. (n.d.). Frozen shoulder causes and risk factors. Sports. Retrieved January 15, 2022, from