Frozen shoulder is an extremely painful condition in which the shoulder is completely or partially unmovable. Frozen shoulder often starts without any serious cause but may be triggered by a mild injury to the shoulder. Usually, the condition goes through three phases, starting with pain, then stiffness and finally a stage of resolution as the pain eases and most of the movement returns. This process may take an awfully long time, sometimes as long as two or more years.

Three Stages of Development

Typically, frozen shoulder develops slowly, and in three stages:

Stage One:  Pain increases with movement and is often worse at night.  There is a progressive loss of motion with increasing pain.  This stage lasts approximately 2 to 9 months.

Stage Two:  Pain begins to diminish; however the range of motion is now much more limited, as much as 50% less than in the other arm.  This stage may last 4 to 12 months.

Stage Three:  The condition may begin to resolve.  Most patients experience a gradual restoration of motion over the next 12 to 42 months.


While it is not completely understood, the evidence shows that people with some diseases such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism have more risks of having frozen shoulders.


Many different treatments have been tried varying from surgery to physiotherapy or advice alone. There are very important recommendations that you can follow to help you with the management of pain and movement. 

  1. Having an active lifestyle
  2. Analgesia or painkillers to control the pain
  3. Heat sometimes helps to manage the pain
  4. Resting Positions. Having comfortable positions, especially at night time for example supporting the arm with a pillow under the arm.
  5. TENS machines. Helps to manage the pain
  6. Exercises. To keep and improve the movement.

How Can I Prevent “Frozen Shoulder” (Adhesive Capsulitis)?

It is still not completely understood why some people get Frozen shoulder, however having an active lifestyle and having a healthy diet definitely help. 

Melbourne Hand Therapy Can Help You

Our specifically trained physiotherapists can help you with this, so don’t put up with the pain any longer and book an appointment today! 


Google Rating
Based on 290 reviews