Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) is a syndrome of pain and decreased motion in the shoulder joint, which results in inflammation and thickening of the shoulder capsule due to collagen. It is estimated to affect between 20-50 million people worldwide with a slightly higher incidence in women. It is estimated that 300,000 patients visit doctors annually in the U.S. in connection with frozen shoulder and that 20% of diabetics have frozen shoulder syndrome.

No FDA-approved pharmaceutical therapies are currently available for the treatment of adhesive capsulitis. The most common treatments for frozen shoulder are intensive physical therapy, corticosteroids and/or arthroscopy, and some drugs are used to manage pain. During manipulation under general anesthesia, the shoulder capsule is ruptured by stretching it in order to tear the adhesions that caused the frozen shoulder. Popping sounds are often heard during the procedure as the adhesions are torn.