Exploration of the clinical course and longitudinal correlations in frozen shoulder: the role of autonomic function, central pain processing, and psychological variables. A longitudinal multicenter prospective observational study

Review written by Dr Angela Cadogan info

Key Points

  1. Clinically relevant improvements in pain intensity occur in the first three months of the condition and early intervention is important.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a painful and debilitating musculoskeletal condition characterized by the gradual onset of shoulder pain and stiffness. The clinical course is long and patients often have high levels of pain and distress in the early stages. Altered central pain processing (CPP) and dysautonomia play a role in chronic musculoskeletal conditions (1) and may also contribute to the clinical course of frozen shoulder.

Psychologic factors including pain catastrophizing and hypervigilance may also influence clinical variables in frozen shoulder. Understanding the mechanisms behind pain can help clinicians deliver targeted and more effective treatment for people with frozen shoulder.

This study aimed to investigate the clinical course of frozen shoulder and assess the correlations between CPP, dysautonomia, pain catastrophizing and hypervigilance, and pain intensity.

Altered central pain processing and dysautonomia play a role in chronic musculoskeletal conditions and may also contribute to the clinical course of frozen shoulder.
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Early intervention, comprehensive assessments, and targeted interventions for pain and psychological factors are crucial for improving outcomes in frozen shoulder patients.

METHODS

  • This study used a multi-center design, involving 149 participants with frozen shoulder recruited from hospitals and GP practices who were followed for nine months.
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