Best Home Remedies To Treat Frozen Shoulder Pain
For many, frozen shoulder isnt a condition they know about or have even experienced. Frozen shoulder treatment can be painful and risky, making it a difficult condition to live with.
This shoulder issue typically occurs in people aged between 40 and 60 years. Its most common in women and patients suffering from diabetes. Roughly 3% of Americans experience it .
Youre More Likely To Have Frozen Shoulder
Roughly 2% to 5% of people will have frozen shoulder at some point in their life. The cause is unknown. But certain circumstances and diseases can increase your risk.
- Being in your 50s and 60s
- Type 1 diabetes
- Other illnesses, including autoimmune diseases, hypo- or hyperthyroidism, heart disease, pulmonary disease, tuberculosis, and Parkinsons disease
- Having a stroke or an injury that keeps you from using your shoulder for a long period of time.
- A previous frozen shoulder in one arm makes you more likely to develop it in the other arm.
Adhesive Capsulitis Embolization: An Alternative Treatment For Frozen Shoulder
ACE is a minimally invasive alternative treatment for frozen shoulder that has already shown excellent results
Adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder syndrome can cause significant discomfort and pain, limiting the patients range of mobility and decreasing their quality of life.
Unfortunately, the treatment options are still somewhat limited. People with this condition are usually prescribed physical therapy followed by a course of anti-inflammatory medications. These often produce mixed results and far-from-optimal health outcomes.
However, many patients do not know that they can now try a minimally invasive alternative treatment for frozen shoulder called adhesive capsulitis embolization . This procedure has already shown excellent results in successfully relieving capsulitis shoulder pain.
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Exercises For Frozen Shoulder
You should follow the home exercises given to you by a health provider as they will match where you are in the frozen shoulder stages. The exercises below are generically appropriate if you have frozen shoulder:
- Pendulums. Hang the affected arm down toward the ground. Move the arm in circles or side to side for up to two minutes. Perform up to three times daily to help manage pain.
- Shoulder blade squeezes. Squeeze your shoulder blades back. Hold for five seconds. Release. Perform two sets of 10, up to three times a day.
- Cane stretch. Using a cane or longer umbrella, lay down on the floor. Hold the cane or umbrella in both hands, and let your arms move it back toward your ears and to the floor. The non-affected side of your body should guide the side with frozen shoulder to move further. Go as far as you can go to feel a stretch but not pain. Repeat five times. I like the lying-down-cane exercise because one can really relax their body and let gravity be your friend to help open the shoulder, Marko says.
Signs And Symptoms Of Frozen Shoulder
The most obvious sign of AC is pain in the shoulder joint. Most people report that the pain worsens at night and may even disrupt their sleep. Other symptoms include stiffness and an increasingly limited range of motion.
In most cases, the symptoms begin gradually, get worse over time, and then resolve on their own or with treatment in one to three years.
It is also possible to get frozen shoulder more than once. However, AC rarely recurs in the same joint: most people develop the condition in the other shoulder.
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Stage : Freezing Phase
Your shoulder will start to feel stiff and painful in this early stage of a frozen shoulder. Its similar to when an icy cold water bottle freezes up and becomes rigid.
If youre experiencing the first stage of frozen shoulder, be aware that it may take up to nine months for the condition to improve. You might experience severe discomfort during this time, but there are ways to relieve the pain. Anti-inflammatory medications are one option.
Frozen Shoulder Treatment In North Dakota
Frozen shoulder may not seem as severe as other conditions and injuries. However, it can still significantly affect your shoulders range of motion, thus interfering with your daily activities and quality of life.
If you have the symptoms of a frozen shoulder, reach out to The Bone & Joint Center to receive quality patient-centered orthopedic care in North Dakota. Our fellowship-trained and board-certified specialists are sure to create a treatment plan tailor-fitted to your condition that includes nonsurgical and/or surgical modalities.
You may visit any of our 11 locations across the state. For questions and inquiries, dont hesitate to call 424-2663. Alternatively, you may also request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you!
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Frozen Shoulder Stages: How The Condition Progresses
Adhesive capsulitis typically develops incrementally and in three stages. Each stage can last several months. That means it is essential for patients and their healthcare providers to monitor any recurring or persistent shoulder pain from early on, even if it does not look like adhesive capsulitis at first.
The three stages of frozen shoulder syndrome are:
Pay Attention To Your Posture And Sleeping Position
Patients with frozen shoulder are vulnerable to reduced sleep quality. This is especially true during the first stage or the freezing stage, which is the phase when you will feel the most pain. However, getting adequate sleep promotes healing and reduces inflammation.
To help you stay comfortable as you sleep, you can put a pillow under your affected arm, with your hand resting on your stomach. If you tend to sleep on your side, make sure you dont sleep on your affected shoulder. Likewise, place your affected arm on a pillow across your chest as if hugging it.
When you are standing or sitting, make sure you have good posture. Keep your shoulders back and avoid slouching or slumping to help ease your pain.
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Move Your Shoulder Joint Often
Your symptoms might trick you into thinking that even the slightest feeling of pain can lead to more harm to your shoulder joint.
If you let it, this misconception might lead you down a rabbit hole of helplessness and chronic pain.
So, ground yourself into the reality that you are going to get better.
Follow this up by exploring activities and movements that you enjoy.
If you are into working out, then there are specific exercises for your frozen shoulder that can help ease your pain and improve shoulder mobility.
If its cardio, then the natural arm motions of walking or jogging may help in improving blood flow around your shoulder joint capsule.
When Is Surgery Indicated
If the above program does not improve the range of motion and decrease the pain, then surgery may be indicated. After the patient has had a general or regional anesthetic, the physician may manipulate the shoulder in the operating room to break down the scarring. Occasionally, an arthroscope is used to directly cut or release the capsular adhesions. Most patients begin physical therapy the same day of the manipulation or the following day.
Other operations, such as the removal of spurs, may also be indicated or required at the time of the manipulation. These operations can sometimes be done with the arthroscope, but may require one or two larger incisions around the shoulder .
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Whats The Outlook For Frozen Shoulder
Simple treatments, such as use of pain relievers and shoulder exercises, in combination with a cortisone injection, are often enough to restore motion and function within a year or less. Even left completely untreated, range of motion and use of the shoulder continue to get better on their own, but often over a slower course of time. Full or nearly full recovery is seen after about two years.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/19/2019.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Frozen Shoulder. Accessed 1/21/2019.
- Codsi MJ. The painful shoulder: When to inject and when to refer. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 2007 74:473-474.
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Shoulder problems. Accessed 1/21/2019.
- American Physical Therapy Association. Physical Therapists Guide to Frozen Shoulder. Accessed 1/21/2019.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy
Massage Your Shoulder Joint
Another way to help improve shoulder mobility is by doing self-myofascial release or massage.
See, due to prolonged pain, your shoulder muscles and other connective tissue surrounding your arm can tense and tighten up.
Massage can counteract this. It can provide pain relief, reduce muscle tension, and eventually improve your range of motion.
Here is a quick way to do self-myofascial release by using a tennis/lacrosse ball:
First, look for a tender point around your shoulder with the ball. Then, you can:
- Use your hand to roll and put pressure on the ball, or
- Pin the ball in between you and a wall, rolling and placing pressure by using your body weight.
Continue rolling the ball around until it stops feeling good or after you feel your muscles relax.
Learn more: Massage techniques for frozen shoulder.
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Ways To Do Frozen Shoulder Treatment At Home
Looking for the best science-driven frozen shoulder treatment at home? Then youve come to the right place!
As a physical therapist, I understand how difficult it is to get treatment for a frozen shoulder. You may be too busy at work, or your budget just isnt enough to cover physical therapy.
So, here is a list of home remedies to bridge that gap. I recommend them even to my patients with frozen shoulders.
These wont substitute a proper physical therapy session, though. But they will jumpstart your recovery. Here they are tap on any of them to navigate through the article:
Instructions: 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
- Start in a standing position.
- Hold onto a sturdy chair or table while you lean forward, bending at your hips.
- Relax your affected arm and let it dangle freely, pointing to the floor.
- Shift your bodyweight forwards and backward.
- Use your bodys momentum to your arm swing freely.
Pro-tip: If you want more stretch, grab hold of a 2lb dumbbell or a can of beans while you perform the exercise.
Instructions: Hold for 30 seconds and repeat thrice.
- Start in either standing or sitting position.
- Cross your affected arm over your chest.
- With your other arm, grab hold onto the upper arm bone thats across your body.
- Pull it towards you.
- You should be feeling a stretch at the back of your shoulder.
Instructions: 2 sets of 10 repetitions. For each rep, hold the end-range for 5 seconds.
Do Heat Therapy For Shoulder Pain Relief
Heat therapy can decrease pain by improving blood flow. You can even do it before doing the previous stretching exercises to further increase your shoulders range of motion.
This home remedy may take the form of gel packs or even a warm shower. Personally, I recommend gel packs they can easily mold around your joint and you can keep them on for a while.
Heres how you can DIY a hot pack at home:
- Place a small face towel right inside a medium-sized resealable plastic bag.
- Pour in warm to hot water, enough to dampen the towel.
- Seal the plastic bag and wrap it with another thin towel.
- Place it over your shoulder joint for 15 minutes.
- Check your skin every 5 minutes to avoid skin burns.
- If its too hot, wrap the plastic bag with another layer of a thin towel.
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A Frozen Shoulder Commonly Affects People Between 40 And 60 Years Of Age People With Diabetes May Become Immobile During Recovery Causing The Shoulder Capsule To Stiffen
If youve been experiencing pain and stiffness in your shoulder, finding it extremely difficult to move it, there are high chances that youre suffering from a frozen shoulder. As this pain worsens at night, it may make sleeping difficult for the individual.
Frozen shoulder is a common condition where a persons shoulder becomes stiff, leading to reduced mobility. This condition occurs when a scar tissue forms in the shoulder, causing the shoulder joints capsule to thicken and tighten. This leaves less room for movement, making it ache and go stiff, explains Dr Sunil Sahi, an orthopedic surgeon based in New Delhi.
The most common cause for this condition is underuse of the shoulder. Other causes include an injury or fracture and diabetes . Stroke, hyper- or hypothyroidism, heart disease, and Parkinsons disease can also lead to a frozen shoulder, says Dr Sahi.
If inflammation occurs, a frozen shoulder may take months to subside. But the mainstay of the treatment is exercise.
A frozen shoulder commonly affects people between 40 and 60 years of age. People with diabetes may become immobile during recovery, causing the shoulder capsule to stiffen. You can try using a hot compress or heating pad for 15 minutes and repeat the process many times in a day.
An ice pack can also provide some relief. Delhi-based Shruti Bangera, who is senior SME- physiotherapy for the home-based medical app Portea, suggests three home-based remedial exercises for a frozen shoulder:
How Long Does Rehabilitation Take
Supervised physical therapy usually lasts from one to six weeks, with the frequency of visits ranging from one to three times per week. The patient should engage in home exercises and stretching throughout the healing process. The stretching exercises should be done at home at least once or twice daily, as noted above. In general, frozen shoulder will resolve almost completely with time and consistent compliance with the prescribed treatment program. This process can take up to six to nine months for some patients, although it may take only a few months for others. Internal rotation is usually the motion that takes the longest to regain.
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How To Treat Frozen Shoulder: The Conventional Approaches
The standard frozen shoulder treatment protocol typically involves a combination of:
- Applying heat and ice to the affected area, which can help reduce the pain and swelling.
- Physical therapy, including gentle stretching and range-of-motion exercises.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , which may help reduce inflammation.
- Corticosteroids,a broad spectrum of drugs that decrease inflammation in the body and help reduce immune system activity.
- Numbing medicationsthat are usually injected directly into the joint capsule to relieve shoulder pain.
- Arthroscopic surgery, which is only prescribed in a small percentage of the most severe cases. These are typically patients with refractory pain or pain that cannot be controlled with less invasive means. If the surgery goes well, it can help loosen the joint capsule, allowing it to move more freely.
Natural Cures Of Inflammation
You can reduce inflammation in your body naturally through your diet. Some foods that naturally reduce inflammation are:
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna
- Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, oranges, and cherries
- Nuts, like walnuts and almonds
- Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, and collards
- Celery juice or beet juice
- Herbs and spices such as ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, and turmeric
Adding these whole foods to your diet and cutting out processed foods will reduce inflammation in your body. Having a healthy balanced diet of whole foods, fats, carbs, and protein will boost your body’s healing process.
You should limit your use of alcohol, sodas, and caffeine in excess of 2 cups per day. Eliminate smoking and other tobacco products in your life. Get plenty of rest and ease into an exercise routine that you enjoy. Healthy habits such as walking, yoga, and Pilates are appropriate for all levels of stamina.
Essential oils can also be used for pain, tension and swelling. Essential oils are derived from therapeutic plants that have natural anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits. Some of the more common ones include:
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About Trigger Points And Frozen Shoulder Syndrome
Myofascial trigger points in the muscles of the shoulder and surrounding areas can cause frozen shoulder.
Trigger points are muscle knots, lumps, or sensitive areas that can occur due to injury, overuse, or referred pain from another area of your body. They can cause pain, reduced mobility, and muscle weakness. Trigger points can also lead to poor circulation, contractions, and spasms.
There are certain trigger points connected to frozen shoulder. Learning about these specific areas may help you to understand how to treat frozen shoulder.
Trigger points related to frozen shoulder are found in any of the shoulder or arm muscles. These diagrams show the common trigger points for frozen shoulder .
Dont Do Activities That Cause Pain
While keeping your shoulder mobile is vital to healing and recovery, you should still refrain from moving your shoulder in pulling, jerky, and jarring movements. These movements will only make the pain worse and add more strain to your muscles.
If you continue to move your shoulder in painful movements, the tendons in your arm will have to work harder, which may result in tendonitis. Some examples of these include walking the dog or playing contact sports without your doctors approval. A frozen shoulder may take time to heal, so dont rush your recovery.
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Some Final Words On Frozen Shoulder
Its possible for frozen shoulder to recur in your other shoulder. This happens in 20% to 25% of patients, Throckmorton says. Regular range-of-motion stretches for your shoulders, physical activity and a healthy diet can keep your shoulders healthy. There’s no guarantee that these steps will prevent a recurrence though.
Frozen shoulder can be painful, and the recovery may seem frustratingly long. Yet it does get better. Follow any at-home exercises as needed, visit a physical therapist if you can and do what you need to relieve pain.
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