Frozen shoulder has a slow progression with three stages:
In this first stage, shoulder movement becomes painful. There is also a slight reduction in available shoulder motion.
During the frozen stage, pain experienced with shoulder movement is less. However, there is a continued decrease in available shoulder range of motion.
In this last stage, shoulder movement increases and is able to move more freely.
The exact cause of adhesive capsulitis is unknown, but it is typically seen after injury or immobilization of the shoulder joint.
Physical therapy is an excellent treatment choice for adhesive capsulitis. Stretching exercises and joint mobilization can help to increase the available shoulder range of motion and decrease pain.
Adhesive Capsulitis: A Sticky Issue by LB Siegel, M.D., NJ Cohen, M.D., and EP Gall, M.D. (American Family Physician April 1, 1999, http://www.aafp.org/afp/990401ap/1843.html)