Frozen shoulder also known as Adhesive Capsulitis, is a condition which causes painful restricted shoulder movement. It is thought to affect:-
- Women more than men
- Patients over 40 years
- Gradual onset shoulder pain
- Usually one symptomatic shoulder at a time (rarely both)
- Characterised by increasing pain and stiffness
This condition can usually be divided into 3 phases:-
- Painful phase – The patient usually experiences a background ache in the shoulder with movement. As time progresses they often start to note an increasing pain at rest and night. As the phase advances towards the adhesive phase, stiffness becomes a major complaint.
- Adhesive phase – usually starts several months into their complaint, with the pain becoming less severe. There is reduced pain at rest and at night, but discomfort and a more severe pain at the limits of movement. Shoulder movement becomes more restricted during this phase.
- Resolution phase – the pain is less evident and the dominant symptom is restricted shoulder movement. There is a slow and gradual improvement in range of motion with the onset and rate of recovery varying from patient to patient.