Guidelines for the diagnosis, assessment and management of contracted (frozen) shoulder

These guidelines are about contracted ('frozen') shoulder in people aged 18 and over.



An estimated 50–80% of people with shoulder pain don’t seek medical attention for it.

Despite this, shoulder pain is the third most common musculoskeletal reason for people to visit their GPs, and around 15% of these people are referred for physiotherapy.

Contracted (frozen) shoulder is an important type of shoulder pain. It's a combination of shoulder pain and stiffness that causes sleep disturbance and marked disability, and which runs a prolonged course.

In some cases, it does not resolve completely. Its prevalence appears to vary by setting.

Since physiotherapy spans care settings, individual physiotherapists might encounter frozen shoulder often.

But no detailed guidelines for frozen shoulder have hitherto been published either in the UK or abroad.

Download the full document (pdf, 178 pages, 2.4mb) from the Tees University website below.

Clinical guidelines for contracted (frozen) shoulder