Frozen Shoulder is also known as Adhesive Capsulitis, which describes what is going on well. The bag around the shoulder joint, the capsule, get stuck together by scar tissue created by inflammation inside the shoulder joint.
The shoulder has a bag around it called the capsule and if there is inflammation in the joint this can cause scar tissue to form and stick the capsule together. This "freezes" the joint by blocking movement and causing a lot of pain.
I subscribe to the theory that more often than not it is an injury to the biceps tendon (which pierces the capsule) that "introduces" inflammation into the joint. The images below show an MRI or a normal shoulder, and a Frozen one (the arrows point to the scar tissue).
Other factors can be an issue, such as being diabetic, or suffering an shoulder injury (such as a dislocation) that means you can't move your shoulder freely allowing it to tighten up on you.
A classic frozen shoulder, without treatment, can take 18 months to get better - but it can also be longer (30 months isn't unusual). There is a 6 month phase of increasing pain and stiffness, then 6 months of decreasing pain (with no increased movement) and then 6 months of increasing range of motion. It can be caused by a number of things, but typically starts with an injury or over-strain.
Medical treatment of frozen shoulder has changed in recent years, with steroid injections into the joint (guided by ultrasound) or Hydrodilatation (where fluid is injected into the joint capsule to stretch it) helping reduce the severity and duration of the condition. Self-help (exercises, painkillers), physiotherapy and exercises are also crucial.
As an osteopath who is trained using Neil Asher Frozen shoulder treatment techniques, I am able to offer treatment that can reduce the intensity and duration of frozen shoulder. Each case varies, so outcomes can vary.
If you'd like to chat with me about frozen shoulder and what I can possible do as an osteopathy then please do get in touch.