Frozen Shoulder, or ‘Adhesive Capsulitis’, is an inflammatory condition of the shoulder capsule. It is characterised by a gradual onset of pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint which worsens over a period of time.
Frozen Shoulder often develops spontaneously but your risk for developing the condition increases where the shoulder is immobilised, such as when wearing a sling post-fracture.
Adhesive Capsulitis develops in three distinct stages, as follows:
1. The Freezing Stage
This stage is characterised by pain, which gradually increases over time. The shoulder is painful in all movements and the movement itself begins to become limited. This stage usually lasts for 2-3 months but can last up to 9 months.
2. The Frozen Stage
During this stage the pain will not worsen, and it may lessen. This stage is characterised by stiffness. During this stage, the activities of daily living become increasingly difficult. This stage can last up to 6 months.
3. The Thawing Stage
The movement in the shoulder starts to improve once more. Pain levels can vary during this stage but gradually return to normal. This stage may last for up to 2 years.