Frozen Shoulder and Ageing

6 June 2016

Ageing is a complex biological process. It has been defined as a “biological process of growing older in a deleterious sense, what some authors call senescence.” It consists of “changes that render human beings progressively more likely to die.” (Magalháes).

Ageing has many effects all over the world, the foremost of which concerns demographics. Older people forms a large bulk of world population, and most of them live in less developed countries. Two thirds of the population of older people lives in the developing world. (World Health Organization).

According to statistics from the World Health Organization, 600 million people are aged 60 and over in the year 2000 alone, and it is projected that such number would blow up to about 2 billion by the year 2050. (World Health Organization).

The biggest problem besetting the older population is the scientific and biological fact that they are more prone to contracting diseases and they recover less easily, due to their weakening bodily resistance. This leads to their dependence on other people around them.

Studies show that older people live a more sedentary lifestyle due to the development of many labor-saving technology. Thus, in Australia, it is estimated that “one-third of all Australian adults at risk of major health problems due to physical inactivity.” On the other hand there is no dispute that increased physical activity provides many health benefits, the foremost of which is the increased potential of older people to recover from any illness or injury. (Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing).

In this connection, it is worth noting that active ageing has been gaining popularity, as the “process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to embrace quality of life as people age.” Active ageing comprises of many facets of health designed towards increasing the quality of life of older people and making them more independent. (Active Ageing).

One of the many injuries that can trouble older people is frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis. It is defined as a “shoulder joint with significant loss of its range of motion in all directions.” Such limitation or loss in the range of motion can be observed both when the patient attempts motion and when a doctor tries to move the joint fully while treating the patient. (Shiel Jr.).

Frozen shoulder is caused by “inflammation, scarring, thickening and shrinkage of the capsule that surrounds the normal shoulder joint.” This means that frozen shoulder could arise from any injury to the shoulder, such as tendonitis. While the most common victims of this condition are those with diabetes or chronic inflammatory arthritis of the shoulder, older people may be prone to the disease because of their tendency to be physically inactive. (Shiel Jr.).


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Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Physical Activity and Health:          Evidence and Research. Retrieved January 11, 2007, from      active-evidence.htm

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Shiel Jr., W.C. Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis). Frozen Shoulder Center.  Retrieved        January 10, 2007, from Skelton, D. (2006). Staying Active Helping Older People Maintain their Mobility. Update on    Ageing. Retrieved January 10, 2007, from Speer, K.P. (2005). Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation for Active Older Adults. World Health Organization. The world is fast ageing – have we noticed? Retrieved January 11,             2007, from

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