Frozen shoulder (also known as adhesive capsulitis) causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder and over time the shoulder becomes very hard to move. This condition is concerned with the shoulder capsule becoming thickened and tight causing adhesions to develop and usually less synovial fluid which helps lubricate the shoulder.
The pain associated with frozen shoulder is usually dull and aching and generally worse early in the course of the disease and when attempting to move the arm.
This condition typically gets better over time, although it does take a protracted course and may take up to three years. The focus of any treatment is to assist with controlling pain and improving range of motion and strength. Treatment measures prescribed include; anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections and physiotherapy.
In some cases should non-surgical treatment measures fail to improve the condition, surgery may be considered with the goal of trying to stretch and release the stiffened joint capsule.
This condition runs a prolonged course and may take up to three years to resolve. Physiotherapy is the most important factor in helping to return to all activities.