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JRPMS Vol 4, No 4, December 2020, p.130-136

doi: 10.22540/JRPMS-04-130


Review Article

Current non-operative treatments for adhesive capsulitis: A Review

Roshan Chhatlani1, Lara Morgan Oberle2, Gene Tekmyster2

  1. SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn NY, USA
  2. Keck Medicine of USC, Los Angeles, USA

Keywords: Adhesive capsulitis, Adhesive capsulitis treatments, Frozen shoulder, Frozen shoulder treatments, Platelet-rich plasma


This study aims to determine the best available non-operative approach for adhesive capsulitis and to create a guided treatment plan based on the research and evidence. An electronic search of multiple databases including PubMed, Cochrane Library, Wiley Online Library, Google Scholar, and Ovid Medline was completed. Search terms included “adhesive capsulitis”, “frozen shoulder”, “adhesive capsulitis treatments”, and “frozen shoulder treatments”. Exclusion criteria included articles that were published before the year 1984 and non-peer reviewed articles. Seventy-four articles were retrieved from the original search, and of those forty-nine articles were included and twenty-five were excluded. In the available research and literature, there is no clear consensus of one non-operative approach against the other. There is however clear evidence that intra-articular corticosteroid injections provide pain relief in the short term. There may be a role for the other non-operative interventions in the treatment for adhesive capsulitis but the current evidence does not support them being implemented as standalone treatment options. In order to determine the best available non-operative approach for adhesive capsulitis there is a need for higher quality randomized controlled trials moving forward. The available literature has limitations that would restrict one to formulate a consensus on a guided treatment plan.