Life is movement, Movement is life

 F A Q

 Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I know if I have a frozen shoulder? 

While there is no exact way to determine that beyond a medical exam, there are several signs and symptoms in many cases such as:

  • Sudden onset of severe pain without injury

  • Significant limitations in shoulder mobility

  • Pain may be worse at night 

  • You tend to stop using the affected arm

  • Your shoulder feels stiff

  • Unable to reach the arm overhead or behind you

  • Inability to sleep on that side

 What is the best way to treat a frozen shoulder?

You must mange the pain by avoiding painful activities and use anti-inflammatory medications as approved & recommended by your physician.  Beyond that, heat, ice and very specific stretching and range of motion exercises must be done to  prevent further motion loss and help regain the movement that has been lost.  As pain subsides, selective strengtheinig exercises should be done to restore proper shoulder function.

How long does it take to get better?

This may vary depending on whether you have other problems (arthritis, rotator cuff tendonitis, bursitis) and your pain levels.  There are cases that resolve within a few months, while others have persisted for 2 + years.  But, you can make the entire process more manageable and resolve faster by doing exercises during the three stages of the condition.

How quickly can I expect to see results with exercises program?

In most cases, you should notice some improvement within a few weeks. Often,the progress is steady and may come in spurts.  It is also strongly related to your pain tolerance and adherence to the frequency of exercise that is prescribed.  As the frozen shoulder may take months and months to resolve, you must be persistent and patient with the exercises most people begin seeing good progress during the first 1-2 weeks.

Should I move my shoulder even if it hurts?

Yes.The worst thing you can do is quit moving and using the arm.This will only make the pain and stiffness even worse.  So, the best thing to do is work within your pain tolerance and try to move it a bit more each day. One will not recommend heavy lifting or forcing the shoulder through extreme ranges of motion, as this typically increases inflammation and prolongs your recovery.

What can I do besides stretching and range of motion exercise?

I advocate using moist heat to loosen the shoulder up and reduce pain,especially before exercise, while using ice after exercise or at the end of the day serves to decrease inflammation related to use and increased activity.  Icing before bed is also a good idea to improve sleep.  Don't worry about the ice making the shoulder stiffer.  Icing the shoulder attacks the inflammation which causes the pain with movement.

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