Frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is the painful and gradual stiffening of the shoulder capsule (the tissue that surrounds the shoulder joint). Over time, this painful stiffening leads to sleep disturbance and limits your ability to use your arm for day-to-day activities.

The exact cause of the condition is unknown. For some reason, your body has an over reactive response to a minor injury and tries to heal your shoulder capsule with scar tissue. It affects one in 20 people and is more common in women than men. Most cases of frozen shoulder happen between the ages of 40 and 60.

Frozen shoulder can be categorised into three phases:

  • Painful Phase
  • Stiffness Phase
  • Thawing Phase

For more information about frozen shoulder and how to deal with the condition, download the patient information leaflet on this page.