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What is Frozen Shoulder?





Frozen shoulder, known in the medical community as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that causes severely painful and restricted shoulder movement. The pain, swelling and stiffness make everyday activities more difficult, gradually worsens over time, and even affects your ability to have a restful night’s sleep.

Frozen shoulder causes the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint to contract and form scar tissue that prevents the shoulder bone from being able to move freely in the socket. The shoulder literally seems to be “frozen” in place, hence the name frozen shoulder.

In Canada and all over the world, the condition is twice as likely to develop in women than in men, typically affects those between the ages of 40 and 60, but can also develop after a shoulder injury, shoulder surgery, or even after vaccinations in the shoulder muscle. 

When injury or surgery is followed by prolonged joint immobilization, such as putting the shoulder in a sling, the risk of developing frozen shoulder is at its highest. Gentle stretching and progressive range-of-motion exercises can help to prevent frozen shoulder. But without proper treatment, this painful condition can last for years.

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What are the Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder?

These are some of the most commonly reported Frozen Shoulder Symptoms:
Patients with advanced-stage symptoms may experience:

If you are a Canadian and think you might be suffering from frozen shoulder, check out our complete guide on frozen shoulder symptoms below.

Woman shoulder pain

The Three General Stages of Frozen Shoulder


Most sufferers first become aware of the conditions by experiencing a dull, aching pain in their shoulder. In this first stage of frozen shoulder – which can last anywhere from two to nine months – the shoulder becomes painful and stiffness slowly builds up, limiting a person’s overall movement.


During the second stage, the pain actually begins to subside in the upper arm and shoulder, but the stiffness and limitation to range of motion in the joint capsule will increase. Patients may have a sharp, acute (nerve) pain when making sudden movements, or forceful movements beyond their normal limitations. The stage can last anywhere from four months to over a year.

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  1. During the third and final stage the shoulder eventually begins to thaw, and the range of motion will go back to normal. The thawing stage takes anywhere from two to three years in 90% of cases. However, it is important to note that in 10% of cases frozen shoulder will not disappear without medical intervention.

In fact, more than half of those who go without treatment will experience permanent damage, as the body secretes enzymes into the synovial fluids of the joint, a process that eventually eats away the cartilage. In addition to deterioration of the joint, muscular atrophy (muscle waste) can also prolong recovery and make for a quite difficult recovery.


The shoulder is made up of three bones that form a ball-and-socket joint. Along with the tissues that hold everything together, the three bones form the shoulder capsule are the:

When a patient develops frozen shoulder, the capsule surrounding the joint contracts. The patient’s body forms bands of scar tissue called adhesions. In addition, the soft sacs which cushion the joint called bursae may also stick together causing loss of ability to move the shoulder. 

The contraction of the capsule and the formation of the adhesions cause the frozen shoulder to become stiff and cause movement to become extremely painful.

frozen shoulder


To date, there is no universally recognized cause of frozen shoulder/adhesive capsulitis in the medical community in Canada or around the world. 

However, based on the last 40 years of clinical observations it has become clear to the team at the World Frozen Shoulder Clinic that there are three common denominators in patients suffering with frozen shoulder.

Doctor curing frozen shoulder


This “perfect storm” of symptoms includes:


Nerve Compression (Lower Neck Disc Pathology)

Frozen Shoulder almost always occurs in patients with lower neck disc conditions or muscle contraction conditions, ones that compress the nerves supplying the shoulder and arm with motor and sensory information. Over time, this weakens the muscles in and around the shoulder joint.


Hormonal Imbalance

Frozen shoulder always occurs in those with hormonal imbalances such as menopause, diabetes, thyroid, adrenal stress, testosterone imbalance, etc. 

This is directly related to frozen shoulder because when the endocrine system is out of balance, the body’s immune system and healing response is also out of balance. If the imbalance is quite significant (such as the imbalances due to the conditions described above), any healing response to a shoulder strain injury will be over-reactive or under-responsive.

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Shoulder Strain Injury

When a person strains or injures a muscle or tendon, the body responds with protective inflammation (swelling) in the area.

This usually enhances the body’s healing response, but when combined with a hormonal imbalance, the inflammatory response is much greater than it should normally be. The result is that the body produces excessive amounts of scar tissue in and around the shoulder joint.

Are There Any Other Predisposing Factors That Lead to Frozen Shoulder?

Besides the elements described above (age and gender, hormonal disorders and shoulder trauma or surgery), other systemic conditions have also been associated with an increased risk for developing frozen shoulder, such as heart disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Furthermore, It is also hypothesized that some patients develop frozen shoulder due to severe stress causing a psychosomatic reaction, especially if they feel emotionally restricted and pressured, or “frozen” related to the decision-making processes in their day-to-day lives.

Can I Perform a Self-Diagnosis?

If you’re a Canadian experiencing shoulder pain and have noticed a reduction in your range of motion that affects your daily life – and even the quality of your sleep – you may be worried that you have frozen shoulder/adhesive capsulitis. 

If you are afraid you may have begun to develop this condition but aren’t 100% sure, there is a way for you to receive a diagnosis without having to travel to one of our clinics. How? With our help, you can perform a self-diagnosis! 

By performing a few simple actions, you can gain a tremendous amount of insight about the nature of your condition by evaluating your range of motion from the comfort of your own home. 

You can learn more on our frozen shoulder self-diagnosis page. There, you’ll find a short test that takes only a few minutes to perform. 

The frozen shoulder self-diagnosis test will pose a few simple questions, have you replicate the actions demonstrated in the videos to test various active and passive ranges of motion, and using a process of elimination will eliminate other potential reasons for your discomfort, such as a rotator cuff tear or other damage to the joint capsule. 

Canadians can take their first steps on the road to recovery now. Try our Self Diagnosis Test!

Frozen Shoulder treated happy patients


Until recently, no one in the medical field had been able to pinpoint the exact cause of the adhesive capsulitis type of frozen shoulder. For this reason, there were only a few frozen shoulder treatments available to those suffering from the condition.

Up until now, the options were restricted to physical therapy, pain and anti-inflammatory medication, cortisone injections, frozen shoulder surgery, or some combination. In addition, traditional remedies often require up to nine months of painful post-operative rehabilitation – rehab that is not even guaranteed to work!

Fortunately Dr. Allan Gary Oolo-Austin—the pioneer of the newest and most effective treatment to date—was the first person in the world to develop the concrete, three-part hypothesis described above.

As a result, he invented the Manual Capsular Dissection Procedure, a truly revolutionary non-surgical operation that had an astounding 98% clinical success in restoring range of motion and functionality to frozen shoulders. And the best part? It can be completed in under an hour at our Toronto clinic!

What is the Manual Capsular Dissection Procedure (MCD)?

This novel method developed by Dr. Allan Gary Oolo-Austin is considered a medical breakthrough, and effectively cures frozen shoulder. It is completely non-invasive, and does not involve cutting into the shoulder at all.

Patients throughout Canada who visit a World Frozen Shoulder Clinic can expect to have the procedure completed within an hour. While the procedure is performed in a medical facility, undergoing MCD at a World Frozen Shoulder Clinic does not require an operating room or the use of general anesthetic.

Whether a patient walks in with debilitating pain that makes life excruciating, or simply wants to get life back to normal, within an hour they will be able to walk out completely free of pain, and with most of their mobility back.

Thanks to Dr. Allan Gary Oolo-Austin’s groundbreaking treatment of patients in their Toronto clinic, frozen shoulder sufferers in Canada will have no need to hire an expensive physical therapist, and no need to fit physical therapy into their busy schedules for years.

Frozen Shoulder Treatment by Doctors
World Frozen Shoulder doctors curing woman's shoulder pain

How Does Manual Capsular Dissection (MCD) Work?

At the World Frozen Shoulder Clinic in Toronto, our unique method involves isolating the adhesive tissue inside and outside the shoulder capsule, and separating that connective tissue using extremely specific patient movements in conjunction with very specific mobilization procedures.

How Does Manual Capsular Dissection (MCD) Work?

People in Canada often ask: "Is frozen shoulder painful?"

The answer is a clear "Yes, it is."

And as mentioned above, frozen shoulder symptoms involve more than pain, they can also limit movements, preventing you from doing simple things like putting your coat on, placing your hand on your hip, retrieving your wallet from your back pocket, washing your hair in the shower, etc.

So what about the MCD procedure—is it also painful? Luckily, it’s not!

While the MCD Procedure was described as “uncomfortable” by some patients in the past, that is no longer the case, as it has gone through several key innovations.

We utilize specialized, ultrasound-guided local anesthetics and IV administered analgesics. The patient is under enough sedation so that the muscles have tonicity and can provide feedback during the procedure. Compared to general anesthesia (which keeps the muscles in a state of paralysis), our modern method is a much safer alternative that allows absolutely no pain at all!

The updated version of our revolutionary MCD Procedure involves specialized joint-capsule adhesion-separation procedures. Here are three steps that help alleviate pain to provide a better experience and recovery for our patients.


Specialized myoneural protocols are applied to neurologically stimulate the shoulder girdle muscles preoperatively and postoperatively in order to provide immediate active controlled shoulder mobilization. This addresses the muscular imbalance control component of the adhesive capsulitis frozen shoulder and facilitates the fastest full rehabilitative recovery.

Anesthesiologists delicately administer ultrasound-guided local anesthetics and IV administered analgesics as well as specially formulated capsular injections to facilitate the non-surgical operation. A novel formula of IV sedative medication is also administered, and will completely eliminate pain during the operation. Patient vitals are electronically monitored by nurses during the entire operation and in the recovery room.
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With use of the World Frozen Shoulder clinics proprietary Multi-probe device Intraarticular and extraarticular adhesions are painlessly dissected restoring mobility into full abduction. A secondary and third mobilization procedure are performed to dissect adhesions limiting external and internal rotation. An additional mobilization procedure is carried out to reposition the humerus and provide more subacromial space. Post-operatively patients are instructed to perform specialized exercises to help rehabilitate the surrounding soft tissue structures, maintain newly regained mobility and restore the full range of motion.  

So while the MCD Procedure is virtually painless, all of our patients agree that any discomfort felt during the procedure—even a small amount—is well worth the results.

Watch How We Perform Our MCD Procedure

Videos Testimonials From our Patients


Dr. Oolo-Austin’s groundbreaking MCD Procedure has been incredibly successful and is the first of its kind in the world. To properly diagnose frozen shoulder, a physical exam will be performed. We’re located in Toronto, Ontario.

The MCD Procedure is performed with the patient relatively conscious and interactively participating to ensure that no damage occurs to the joint or surrounding tissues. And because every person’s symptoms are unique, we’ve made sure that our MCD medical procedure truly takes this fact into account.

Call us for a free consultation so we can discuss your situation, provide medical advice, and answer your questions. With any luck, you’ll be on your way to our Toronto office in short order, and finally, find the relief you deserve!

A 4 patients pic USE THIS for end of vid

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