Easing the Grip: Frozen Shoulder Insights by Dr. Rituparna Das – A Leading Pain Specialist in Kolkata

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, can cast a formidable shadow on one’s daily life, causing pain and restricting mobility in the shoulder joint. To unravel the complexities of this condition, we turn to the expertise of Dr. Rituparna Das, a distinguished pain specialist in Kolkata, India. In this exploration, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of frozen shoulder, guided by the insights of this esteemed medical professional.


Frozen shoulder occurs when the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint thickens and tightens, restricting movement and causing pain. The exact causes remain elusive, but certain risk factors contribute to its development. Individuals aged 40 and above, especially women, are more prone to frozen shoulder. Additionally, those with diabetes, prolonged immobility, or a history of shoulder injuries may be at an increased risk. Understanding these factors is pivotal for both prevention and effective management.


The hallmark symptoms of frozen shoulder are gradual onset pain and a progressive loss of shoulder joint mobility. Individuals may experience stiffness that worsens over time, making routine activities like reaching overhead or behind the back challenging. The pain associated with frozen shoulder tends to be dull and aching, often intensifying at night. As the condition advances, even simple tasks like dressing or combing hair become arduous. Recognizing these symptoms early is crucial for timely intervention and enhanced treatment outcomes.


Diagnosing frozen shoulder involves a combination of a thorough medical history review, physical examination, and imaging studies. A healthcare professional, such as an orthopaedic specialist, will inquire about the patient’s symptoms, duration, and any contributing factors. Physical examination may reveal limited range of motion and pain in specific shoulder movements. X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans may be utilized to rule out other potential causes and confirm the diagnosis of frozen shoulder. This comprehensive approach ensures accurate identification and targeted treatment.


The treatment of frozen shoulder is multifaceted, focusing on pain management, restoration of shoulder mobility, and addressing underlying causes. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed to alleviate pain and inflammation. Physical therapy, under the guidance of a qualified therapist, plays a pivotal role in gradually restoring range of motion through specific exercises and stretches. In more severe cases, corticosteroid injections directly into the shoulder joint may be recommended to reduce inflammation.

In some instances, when conservative measures prove ineffective, more invasive interventions such as joint distension (hydrodilatation) or manipulation under anesthesia may be considered. These procedures aim to stretch the tightened capsule and improve joint mobility. However, it is crucial to note that individualized treatment plans should be crafted in consultation with healthcare professionals based on the severity and response to initial interventions.

Recovery and Rehabilitation:

Patience is key in the recovery from frozen shoulder. The rehabilitation process often involves a gradual return to normal activities as shoulder mobility improves. Patients are encouraged to diligently adhere to their prescribed physical therapy routines, ensuring that progress is sustained over time. The commitment to rehabilitation, coupled with consistent medical follow-ups, facilitates a more favourable outcome.


While not all cases of frozen shoulder can be prevented, adopting certain measures can reduce the risk of developing this condition. Regular shoulder exercises to maintain joint flexibility, especially for individuals with predisposing factors like diabetes or a history of shoulder injuries, can be beneficial. Additionally, early intervention for any shoulder pain or stiffness can potentially prevent the progression to a frozen shoulder.


Frozen shoulder, though challenging, is a condition that can be effectively managed with timely diagnosis and targeted treatment. By understanding the causes, recognizing symptoms, and embracing a comprehensive treatment approach, individuals can navigate the path to recovery. As we unravel the mysteries of frozen shoulder, it is clear that a collaborative effort between patients and healthcare professionals is essential for restoring shoulder function and enhancing overall quality of life.

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