Frozen shoulder is a common shoulder condition, and it is characterized by severe shoulder pain, loss of shoulder mobility and strength. The medical term for frozen shoulder is called adhesive capsulitis, and the pain and loss of mobility is a result of inflammation of the shoulder capsule (capsulitis) and fibrotic adhesions (adhesive) that develop in the joint. The shoulder capsule is the deepest layer of soft tissue in the shoulder joint, and it helps keep the upper arm bone (humerus) within the shoulder socket.
There is still no consensus in the medical community as to the actual cause of frozen shoulder, however individuals who are more susceptible to it include those who have had a previous shoulder injury or surgery, people with inflammatory conditions, inactivity of the shoulder, and post-menopausal women. Some people will develop primary frozen shoulder, which are those with no known cause, and others develop secondary frozen shoulder which is associated with an injury or illness.
Individuals with frozen shoulder will have difficulty using their arm due to the pain and restricted movement. Some examples of difficulties people may experience with a frozen shoulder include reaching above shoulder height, reaching behind your back, throwing a ball, putting on a seatbelt, putting on a t-shirt, and sleeping on your affected side.