Frozen shoulder starts as a minor pain, but as time goes by, it can turn into stiffness and a limited range of motion in the shoulder joint. Doctors categorize this as the “stage one” of a frozen shoulder, and it is the toughest and most painful one. If untreated, a frozen shoulder can last up to two to three years with a slow recovery rate. A prolonged period of time spent with little shoulder movement can worsen the case. This means that during this time, patients would have to deal with freezing pain and ache that keeps them up at night.

Frozen Shoulder and Medical Perspectives

It affects 2-5% of the population, being more common in women aged 40-60 years. Frozen shoulders are prevalent among those with conditions like diabetes and thyroid issues. In several cases, doctors would suggest physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, and surgery. In any way, it would take up to months to recover from pain, followed by the pain that has been caused by the surgery. The use of shockwave therapy can provide a treatment that is non-invasive, as it acts to improve regional blood flow, reduce inflammation, and increase flexibility in the body.

Shockwave Therapy and Frozen Shoulder: Scientific Evidence

A study conducted at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences explored the potential of shockwave therapy for frozen shoulders. The study was conducted between 2011 and 2012 and involved 36 patients being diagnosed with frozen shoulder. These patients were divided into two groups: One received shockwave sessions once a week for four weeks, and the other received sham shockwave treatment.

Weekly evaluations were conducted to monitor pain levels, disability, and changes in the range of motion.

The results were quite obvious. After four weeks of treatment, there was an improvement in pain, disability score, flexion, and extension of the involved shoulder in the group receiving shockwave therapy. In comparison, the other group had the same exact pain. The patients who had shockwave therapy experienced a treatment that was non-invasive, non-anesthetic, and had minimal to no side effects.

Similarly, another study evaluated shockwave therapy as a treatment for diabetic patients suffering from frozen shoulders. Fifty patients were divided into two groups, with twenty-five of them receiving corticosteroid injections and the other half receiving 12 sessions of shockwave therapy. Both treatments led to an increase in mobility and a decrease in shoulder pain. However, shockwave therapy had a positive impact on the blood glucose levels of the group suffering from diabetes.


The two discussed research pieces suggest that shockwave therapy is a clear winner for the treatment of frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis. Shockwave therapy’s non-invasive nature makes it a preferable treatment among patients.

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