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Stiff Shoulder Syndrome: Is it Parkinson’s?


Updated April 08, 2009

Question: Stiff Shoulder Syndrome: Is it Parkinson’s?
Answer: Shoulder stiffness is often associated with Parkinson's disease.

One of the most common pain complaints by persons with PD is stiff shoulder pain. They often refer to it as "my frozen shoulder."

Surveys suggest that almost half of PD patients report a history of frozen or stiff shoulder leading up to their PD symptoms. The peak incidence of frozen shoulder occurred about 2 years before onset of PD symptoms and the PD symptoms usually began in the arm with the bad shoulder. So if you are having persistent shoulder stiffness or pains, ask your doctor to evaluate the issue.


Ford, B. and Pfeiffer, R.F. (2005). Pain syndromes and disorders of sensation. In: Parkinson’s Disease and nonmotor dysfunction. R.F. Pfeiffer and I. Bodis-Wollner (Eds). Humana Press, Totowa, New Jersey. Pps. 255-270.

Drake DF, Harkins S, Qutubuddin A (2005) Pain in Parkinson's disease: Pathology to treatment, medication to deep brain stimulation. NeuroReb 20:335 341.

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