Nonoperative treatment of frozen shoulder: oral glucocorticoids

Int Orthop. 2015 Feb;39(2):249-54. doi: 10.1007/s00264-014-2650-1. Epub 2015 Jan 10.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to report our results of glucocorticoid therapy combined with pregabalin and a home exercise program in patients with frozen shoulder.

Methods: Thirty-three patients (seven males, 26 females; mean age 52, range 43-71) diagnosed with primary idiopathic frozen shoulder were included in the study. Secondary causes and systemic diseases related to frozen shoulder were excluded. Administration of 0.5 mg/kg/day methylprednisolone was halved each week and ceased at the end of first month. Pregabalin, paracetamol and proton pump inhibitor was also included in the treatment. Physical therapy as a home program was initiated as the pain subsided. Patients were evaluated using the Constant, DASH and ASES scores in the sixth week and first year. Pain was evaluated with VAS and range of motion at each visit.

Results: Patients were followed up for an average period of 21 months (range 12-37). No adverse effect related to glucocorticoid therapy was observed during the treatment. The DASH, ASES and Constant scores improved significantly in the sixth week and first year (p > 0.05). Average range of motion and pain improved significantly every week until full recovery (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: Glucocorticoid therapy combined with pregabalin and a home exercise program is an effective treatment in the first stage of frozen shoulder.

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / administration & dosage
  • Acetaminophen / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Bursitis / drug therapy
  • Bursitis / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Pregabalin / administration & dosage
  • Pregabalin / therapeutic use
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Shoulder Joint
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Analgesics
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Acetaminophen
  • Pregabalin