Frozen shoulder, medically known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that affects the shoulder joint, causing pain and stiffness. While it’s a relatively common ailment, there are many misconceptions surrounding it. In this blog post, we’ll address some of the most prevalent misconceptions about frozen shoulder and provide clarity to help you better understand this condition.

Misconception 1: Frozen shoulder only affects older adults.

One of the common misconceptions about frozen shoulder is that it only occurs in older adults. While it’s true that the risk of developing frozen shoulder increases with age, it can affect people of all ages, including younger individuals. Certain medical conditions, injuries, or prolonged immobility can also predispose individuals to developing frozen shoulder, regardless of age.

Misconception 2: Frozen shoulder is just temporary stiffness.

Another misconception is that frozen shoulder is just temporary stiffness that will resolve on its own with time. While it’s true that frozen shoulder can improve over time, the recovery process can be prolonged, often lasting several months to years. Without proper treatment and management, the stiffness and pain associated with frozen shoulder can persist and significantly impact daily activities.

Misconception 3: Frozen shoulder is caused by cold weather.

Contrary to popular belief, frozen shoulder is not caused by cold weather. The term “frozen” in frozen shoulder refers to the stiffness and immobility of the shoulder joint, rather than any relation to temperature. The exact cause of frozen shoulder is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve inflammation and thickening of the shoulder capsule, leading to restricted movement.

Misconception 4: Frozen shoulder can be cured with painkillers alone.

Some people believe that taking painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications is sufficient to treat frozen shoulder. While these medications can help manage pain and inflammation associated with frozen shoulder, they do not address the underlying cause or promote joint mobility. Treatment for frozen shoulder often involves a combination of pain management, physical therapy, and in some cases, corticosteroid injections or surgical intervention.

Misconception 5: Rest is the best treatment for frozen shoulder.

While rest may seem like a logical approach to managing pain and discomfort in a frozen shoulder, prolonged immobilization can actually worsen the condition. Gentle exercises and stretching are crucial for maintaining joint mobility and preventing further stiffness. Physical therapy plays a key role in frozen shoulder treatment by helping restore range of motion and strengthen the surrounding muscles.

Misconception 6: Surgery is always necessary for frozen shoulder.

While surgery may be recommended in severe cases of frozen shoulder that do not respond to conservative treatments, it is not always necessary. Many individuals with frozen shoulder experience significant improvement with non-surgical interventions such as physiotherapy, corticosteroid injections, Hydrodistension and home exercises. Surgery is typically considered as a last resort when other treatment options have been exhausted.


Understanding the facts and dispelling misconceptions about frozen shoulder is essential for effective management and treatment. If you are experiencing shoulder pain or stiffness, it’s important to consult with a shoulder specialist orthopaedic surgeon for proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. With the right approach, frozen shoulder can be effectively managed, allowing you to regain mobility and improve your quality of life.