Symptoms of frozen shoulder

Pain and persistent stiffness in the shoulder joint are the two main symptoms of afrozen shoulder.

This makes it painful and difficult to carry out the full range of normal shoulder movements. You may find it difficult to performeveryday tasks, such as:

  • bathing
  • dressing
  • driving
  • sleeping comfortably

Symptoms vary from mild, with little difference to daily activities, to severe, where it may not be possible to move your shoulder at all.

You should see your GP if you think you have a frozen shoulder, or if you havepersistentshoulder pain that limits your movement.

Stagesof frozen shoulder

The symptoms of a frozen shoulder usually get worse gradually, over a number of months or years.

There are three separate stages to the condition (see below), but sometimes these stages may be difficult to distinguish. The symptoms may also vary greatly from person to person.

Stage one

During stage one, often referred to as the "freezing" phase, your shoulder starts to ache and become very painful when reaching out for things.

The pain is often worse at night and when you lie on the affected side. This stagecan lastanywhere fromtwo toninemonths.

Stage two

Stage two is often known as the "frozen" phase. Your shoulder may become increasingly stiff, but the pain doesn't usually get worse and may even decrease.

Your shoulder muscles may start to waste away slightly because they're not being used. This stage usually lasts4-12 months.

Stage three

Stage three is the "thawing" phase. During this period, you'll gradually regain somemovement in your shoulder. The pain begins to fade, although it may come back occasionally as the stiffness eases.

You may not regain full movement of your shoulder, but you'll be able to carry outmany more tasks. Stage three can last from six months to many years.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Nov 2016