5 Signs of Frozen Shoulder

18 June 2015
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Shoulder pain is one of the top conditions we see at the clinic. It can be tricky to distinguish between the different conditions in their early stages. One of the most common that gets misdiagnosed is adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder. When there are so many overlapping symptoms between conditions, how can you tell them apart? A thorough history and examination for starters, and here are 5 other things we look for to help identify frozen shoulder:
1. Gradual onset of pain from no apparent cause– having pain in the shoulder, but haven’t done anything? Pain is usually the first sign, and in some people if can be so severe that it radiates down the arm.

2. Gradual loss of shoulder movement– in the first stages of it, the pain can cause people to overlook that their range of motion has slowly started to decrease. During examination it will become obvious that the person has lost motion in the affected shoulder.

3. Pain at night– not necessarily worse pain at night, but noticeable pain during the night.

4. Cannot lay on that shoulder– putting any weight on that shoulder is excruciating.

5. Cannot make sudden movements– moving the arm is a big challenge with frozen shoulder, but sudden or sharp movements typically dramatically increase the pain.


Frozen shoulder is very tricky, especially in the early stages, and it often gets misdiagnosed. It can be complicated further by diabetes and other health issues. The recovery time can be long, but there are things that can help. Think you may have frozen shoulder? Contact us today to see what options are available for you.


Yours in Health,
The Lawlor Clinic

Chiropractic | Sports Injuries | Active Release Techniques (ART®)

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