Frozen Shoulder And Menopause: More Than Just The Cold Shoulder

Menopause can do a lot of different things to your body, with some symptoms being better known about than others. While the well-known symptoms might not be pleasant, the good news is that you can prepare for them. One of the lesser known symptoms of menopause is called frozen shoulder.

What Is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is a condition that occurs when there is an injury or inflammation in one of the tendons that attaches to the shoulder blade.

This tendon connects to the muscles on either side of the shoulder blade. The pain from frozen shoulder usually starts out mild but gets worse over time.

As the tendon becomes more inflamed, the space around your shoulder joint gets smaller and therefore the bone doesn’t have as much room to move.

Frozen shoulder also sees the amount of lubricating fluid decrease by a third, meaning that bones are much more likely to grind together. This increases pain and further reduces your mobility.

Not only that, but suffering from frozen shoulder for a prolonged period of time can cause banding of scar tissue to form around the socket, further preventing movement and making the condition worse.

Noticing that you have this condition should be quite easy. Suddenly, simple things will become difficult and painful such as brushing your hair and reaching the top shelf of a cabinet.

Is There A Link Between Frozen Shoulder And Menopause?

There is evidence to suggest that menopause is a trigger for this condition. The condition affects around two million people every year, in which most are women between the ages 40 and 60.

As frozen shoulder begins initially from inflammation of the shoulder, people think that it might be a side effect of menopause. The cause of inflammation is still widely unknown, but doctors have their own theories.

The age range of most of the women who suffer from frozen shoulder indicates that it could have a link between the condition and menopause. Some doctors believe that the changing levels of hormones might be the cause of the inflammation, making the likelihood of developing frozen shoulder much more likely.

Other Causes

Other Causes Of Frozen Shoulder

There are many possible causes, such as:

  • Overuse
  • Previous injury
  • Under or overactive thyroid
  • Poor posture
  • Heart problems
  • Arthritis
  • Surgery
  • Infection
  • Trauma
  • Diabetes

So, menopause might not be the only cause of your frozen shoulder. However, it could be working alongside one of the other possible causes listed above to make it more inflamed and painful.

Research has shown that once you get frozen shoulder on one side of your body, there is a 10 percent risk of you getting it in the other shoulder.

The good news, however, is that you will only get it in each shoulder once in your lifetime. So, once it has been treated, you should not suffer from these symptoms again.

Treating Frozen Shoulder

The most effective way to treat frozen shoulder is with steroid and saline injections.

These need to be administered by professionals on a regular basis. The doctor will deliver your injection to specific points in your shoulder.

The most effective way for them to do this is with an x-ray machine as guidance. The specific points in which the injection has to go can be difficult to find blindly, so using an e-ray machine is much more beneficial.

In fact, a study has suggested that if an x-ray machine is not used, 70 percent of steroid and saline injections for frozen shoulder will miss their target.

Along with medical treatment, you can also do some simple exercises at home to try and reduce the inflammation and get some more mobility back into your shoulder.

The cause of the frozen shoulder – such as diabetes, menopause, and thyroid issues – should also be treated.

Of course, menopause has no medical treatment. However, you can manage the pain and inflammation with anti-inflammatories and light exercise.


Overall, there might be a link between frozen shoulder and menopause. However, there could also be a number of other causes of frozen shoulder that just happen to coincide around menopause. Your mileage may vary, but at least you have some information to get started with.

The fact that most women get it between the ages of 40 and 60 years old is the main reason why people associate the condition with menopause.