Frozen shoulder, known as adhesive capsulitis, causes pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion in the shoulder, making it very difficult to move the joint. This condition starts slowly, gradually becoming worse over time. Various medical conditions and procedures increase the risk of developing frozen shoulder. Treatment involves regular therapy, and it can take as long as three years to regain full range of motion. Symptoms of a frozen shoulder can be similar to other conditions, such as arthritis, but the underlying causes vary.


1. Understanding the Anatomy of the Shoulder

Shoulders have a greater range of motion than any other joint in the body. The glenohumeral is a ball and socket joint that connects the humerus bone to the glenoid cavity in the shoulder blade or scapula. Surrounding the joint is a capsule filled with synovial fluid that allows the joint to move smoothly. Ligaments and tendons that connect muscle and bone surround the capsule. The band of tendons and muscles that surround the joint and help to stabilize the shoulder is the rotator cuff.

frozen shoulder ligaments solidcolours / Getty Images

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