The loss of motion is due to chronic inflammation that leads to the stiffening of the soft connective tissue around the shoulder. A frozen shoulder with no known cause is labeled “primary”, but a “secondary” frozen shoulder (secondary adhesive capsulitis) can result after surgical procedures or trauma to the shoulder.
A frozen shoulder has several stages from pain with motion, loss of motion and pain at night, and then significant stiffness with minimal night pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs (like aspirin or ibuprofen) and corticosteroid injections can help treat the inflammation and pain associated with the beginning phases of a frozen shoulder. Aggressive therapy and movements to regain full range of motion with the shoulder will help relieve the stiffness.