What are the stages of a frozen shoulder?
Adhesive capsulitis develops gradually in three different stages:
Inflammation: This initial stage is characterized by pain. Motion loss remains but the joint is constantly achy and painful. Sleeping is difficult.
Freezing: During this stage, symptoms of pain increase and motion loss ensues.
Frozen: Patients experience dramatic motion loss, but most of the inflammation has subsided.
Thawing: During this stage, range of motion of the shoulder improves and most patients return to normal shoulder function. Some patients still notices some mild loss of shoulder motion after a full recovery.
The total time to move through the stages varies, but it can take 2-3 years to recover from adhesive capsulitis without treatment.