Adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder, or shoulder stiffness?  Are these synonyms or differential diagnoses?  Understand the state of the debate over adhesive capsulitis by reviewing the latest science regarding this common clinical challenge.  Earn the confidence of patients, colleagues, and referral sources by understanding the proven effectiveness of current medical and therapeutic treatment techniques.  Learn how to apply the right stress at the right time to make shoulder passive range of motion gains without wasting therapy visits and resources.  Use of technology, optimal home exercise parameters, manual therapy, and surgical implications will be highlighted.

Level of Instruction:  Intermediate

Course Objectives

  • Identify three risk factors for adhesive capsulitis
  • Identify two types of adhesive capsulitis.
  • Identify two surgical techniques used for adhesive capsulitis.
  • Identify effective manual therapy techniques to reduce shoulder stiffness.
  • Identify two methods of applying low-load prolonged stretch to the anterior shoulder capsule.

Course Agenda

  • Shoulder Capsule a. Location/Definition b. Purpose c. Tissue Type d. Contribution to Shoulder Stiffness
  • Adhesive Capsulitis Defined a. Types b. Diagnosis c. Cytology d. Course
  • Adhesive Capsulitis Vs. Frozen Shoulder Vs. Other Shoulder Stiffness
  • Diagnosis a. History b. Radiology c. Blood test d. Cellular Changes
  • Types of Adhesive Capsulitis a. Primary (AKA Idiopathic) b. Secondary (Traumatic or Systematic)
  • Risk Factors
  • Primary AC a. Age b. Gender
  • Secondary AC a. Diabetes b. Hyperthyroidism c. Upper Quarter Surgery d. Immobilization
  • Primary Adhesive Capsulitis Natural Course a. Timeline i. Freezing ii. Frozen iii. Thawing b. Surgical Options
  • Primary Adhesive Capsulitis Use of Resources a. Home program b. Use of technology c. Interim therapy visits
  • Secondary Adhesive Capsulitis Natural Course a. Pain control/medications b. Low load prolonged stretch
  • Manual Therapy a. MWM b. Mulligan Mobs c. PNF d. NAT
  • Alternative Treatments
  • Therapy after surgical interventions a. Manipulation under Anesthesia b. Capsular Release c. Tenolysis d. Step-Cut Lengthening e. Opening The Rotator Interval
  • Outcomes a. Therapy, vs b. Surgery, vs c. Home program, vs d. Injection


  • Kim Kraft, PT, DPT, CHT

A graduate of the College of William and Mary with a BS in Biology, Kim earned her MPT and DPT from Emory University.  Currently, Kim is a staff therapist at the Hand to Shoulder Therapy Center, Indianapolis Indiana.  Prior to her position at the hand center, she practiced at Princeton University and Hamilton Physical Therapy in New Jersey.  Kim enjoys sharing clinical experiences with other therapists as an enthusiastic volunteer for both the Education Division of the American Society of Hand Therapists and the Hand Section of the APTA, and as an active member of the American Society of Shoulder and Elbow Therapists.


Contact Hours: 1.5

Price: $49


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