January 22, 2022

51 Ways to Cope with Frozen Shoulder

Three percent of the population will develop frozen shoulders in their lifetime. If you are one of those three percent, this ebook will help you


Three percent of the population will develop frozen
shoulders in their lifetime. If you are one of those
three percent, this ebook will help you with tips and
resources to better deal with frozen shoulders.

BASICS
This first set of tips will give you some basics about frozen shoulder
and will help you to understand it
better.

  1. Definition
    Frozen shoulder is another term for Adhesive Capsulitis, a
    condition that causes restricted motion in the shoulder
    joint.
  2. What Happens
    With frozen shoulder, the shoulder joint becomes stiff and
    scarred. The shoulder joint usually allows more motion
    than any other joint in the body. But when someone
    develops a frozen shoulder, they form bands of scar tissue
    called adhesions. These adhesions make the shoulder stiff,
    and moving it becomes very painful.
  3. Symptoms

    Here are some of the symptoms associated with frozen
    shoulder:
    > A dull, aching pain in the shoulder
    > Limited shoulder movement
    > Activities such as brushing hair, putting on
    shirts/bras become difficult
    > Sleeping on the affected shoulder is painful
  4. Diagnosing

    When diagnosing frozen shoulder, your doctor will look for
    restricted movement. There are other shoulder conditions
    can cause difficulty with movement of the shoulder, like a
    torn rotator cuff, so it’s very important to find a doctor
    familiar with this condition for a proper diagnosis. This will
    be covered later in this ebook.
  5. Is it Curable?

    95 percent of people with frozen shoulder are completely
    cured. Full recovery may take several months, and there
    are several things that you can do to help. We’ll review
    these things a bit later in this ebook.

    RISK FACTORS

    There are several factors that put you
    at risk for developing frozen shoulder.
    This next set of tips will discuss some
    of these risk factors.

    Trauma or Surgery

    People who have had a shoulder injury, or surgery on the
    shoulder are at risk of developing a frozen shoulder joint.
    When injury or surgery is followed by prolonged immobility,
    it can also put them at risk of developing a frozen shoulder.
  6. Diabetes

    People with diabetes are at risk for developing a frozen
    shoulder. In fact, frozen shoulder affects 10-20 percent of
    diabetes patients.
  7. Age and Gender

    People between the ages of 40 to 60 years old have a
    higher risk of developing frozen shoulder. It is also twice as
    common for women to develop it as it is for men.
  8. Problems with Nearby Joints

    If you have problems with nearby joints, you could be at
    risk for frozen shoulders. For example, arthritis in the AC
    joint or the neck can put you at risk.
  9. Immobility

    As mentioned earlier, keeping a sore shoulder immobile can
    put you at high risk for frozen shoulder. Some conditions
    that could cause this include stroke, immobilizing in a
    sling, or a brain or spinal injury.
  10. Heart or Lung Problems

    Sometimes heart disease or cardiac surgery leads to frozen
    shoulder. Be sure and talk to your doctor about these
    important risk factors.
  11. Other Conditions

    Other risk factors for frozen shoulder include:

    > Thyroid problems
    > High cholesterol
    > Parkinsons disease
    > Hypothyroidism
    > Hyperthyroidism
  12. No Reason

    There are cases of frozen shoulder that have no reasons
    whatsoever. In fact, more commonly, this is the case. Until
    researchers figure out what triggers frozen shoulder, it can
    be hard to find out why it happens.

    STAGES

    There are 3 stages of frozen
    shoulders. This next set of tips
    will go over these stages.
  13. Freezing

    The first stage is the “freezing” stage. This may last
    anywhere from 6 weeks to 9 months, and the onset is slow
    and painful. As the pain worsens, the shoulder loses
    motion.
  14. Frozen

    The second stage is the “frozen” stage. During this stage,
    the pain usually gets better but the stiffness worsens. This
    can last between 4-9 months.
  15. Thawing

    The third stage is the “thawing” stage. This is where the
    shoulder motion slowly returns to normal. This generally
    lasts 5-26 months. This thawing stage is gradual can be
    quite slow. But with stretches and motion, it will steadily
    improve.

    VISITING YOUR DOCTOR

    Finding and talking to a doctor for
    frozen shoulder can be difficult. This
    next set of tips will help you to find a
    great one, and what to expect from
    her when you do.
  16. The Listen Factor

    It’s important that your doctor is a good listener, especially
    on the first visit. Make sure you tell her everything that’s
    going on with your shoulder. If you’re worried about
    remembering, make a list and take it with you.
  17. Questions Your Doctor Should Ask

    Here are some questions that your doctor should/will ask:

    > How did your shoulder pain start?
    > Where is the pain?
    > Has the pain spread?
    > Did you injure yourself?
    > Have you overused your arm?
    > What are your other symptoms?
  18. Questions You Should Ask

    Here are some questions that you should ask your doctor:

    > What stage is my frozen shoulder in?
    > What can I do to help?
    > When can I expect improvement?
    ? What should I not do?
  19. Checking Your Shoulder

    Your doctor should do a thorough examination of your
    shoulder. During this exam, she’ll check for swelling and
    muscle wasting.
  20. Checking Your Neck

    Your doctor will also examine your neck. She’ll do this to
    see whether your pain could be coming partly from your
    neck instead of your shoulder.
  21. Checking Movement

    A good doctor will also check your movement in your
    shoulder. It may be a bit uncomfortable, but it’s important
    that your doctor knows your range of motion.
  22. Blood Tests

    There are some blood tests that your doctor may run.
    These can help the doctor look for other medical reasons
    that may be causing your shoulder pain. She may also want
    to check your blood to see if you might have diabetes or
    arthritis.
  23. X-Ray

    X-ray pictures can sometimes be useful in diagnosing
    shoulder pain problems. It can show things like arthritis or
    spondylosis in the joints. It can also show calcium in the
    muscles or arthritis in the shoulder joint.
  24. Ultrasound

    Your doctor may have an ultrasound done on your shoulder.
    This scan is an excellent way to examine the muscles and
    tendons around your shoulder, and it will allow your doctor
    to find any inflamed or torn muscles.
  25. MRI

    MRI’s (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) are complex and
    expensive, but they can provide your doctor with detailed
    picture of the of your shoulder joint and its muscles. MRI’s
    help doctors correctly diagnose you.

    TREATMENT

    This next set of tips will discuss some
    of the treatment options that may help
    with your frozen shoulder.
  26. Moist Heat

    Moist heat has been found very effective for frozen
    shoulder pain. Just take a heat pad and put a moist towel
    under it, and apply both to your shoulder.
  27. Ice

    Ice can help with frozen shoulder pain as well. To be the
    most effective, put your ice on for 10 minutes on your
    shoulder, and 10 minutes off. You can also alternate ice
    and moist heat.
  28. Physical Therapy

    Physical therapy has also helped with the pain of frozen
    shoulder. If you think this would help, ask your doctor to
    give you a referral for a good physical therapist.
  29. Anti-inflammatories

    Although anti-inflammatory medications haven’t helped
    change the course of a frozen shoulder, they can give
    substantial relief from the painful symptoms.
  30. Cortisone Injections

    Your doctor may suggest one or more cortisone injections.
    These injections can really help to decrease pain, and in
    also let you stretch more. This is very important, because
    it’s usually only effective when used together with physical
    therapy.
  31. Surgery

    If all else fails, a surgeon may perform what’s called a
    manipulation. A manipulation is done with the patient
    sedated, and the doctor moves the arm to break up
    adhesions caused by frozen shoulder. There are no incisions
    made during the procedure.

    STRETCHES AND EXERCISES

    This next set of tips will give you
    some great stretches and exercises
    that you can do to help relieve and
    treat your frozen shoulder.
  32. Weight Stretch

    This exercise you can do while standing or sitting. Hold a 5-
    to 10-pound weight in your hand (a gallon of water or milk
    weighs 8 pounds) and keep your arm vertical and close to
    your body. Swing your arm back and forth or in a small
    diameter circle.
  33. Armpit Stretch

    For this exercise, put your arm onto a shelf or a dresser
    about breast high. Gently bend your knees, and open your
    arm pit. Try to push the arm up a little farther with each
    stretch.
  34. Stretch the Towel

    For this exercise, take a bath towel and hold it with both
    hands at a 45 degree angle. Use your good arm to pull the
    towel toward your lower back. You can repeat this with
    your towel in a horizontal position.
  35. Let Your Fingers Do the Walking

    To do this exercise, face a wall about 18 inches away.
    Using your fingers instead of your shoulder muscles, raise
    your arm up to shoulder level. Repeat this 5-10 times.
  36. Rubber Band Pull
    Grab a rubber band for these next few exercises. For this
    one, hold your elbows at 90 degrees, close to your sides.
    Grab the rubber band with both hands, and turn your
    forearms outward only two or three inches, holding for five
    seconds. Do this 5-10 times.
  37. Rubber Band Push

    For this one, arms the same way as the previous exercise.
    Hook your rubber band onto a door handle and hold it with
    one hand. Turn your forearm inward two or three inches
    (like a door), and hold it for five seconds. Do this 3-5
    times.
  38. Rubber Band Lift

    Here’s another fun exercise you can do with a rubber band.
    Bend your elbow again, and place the rubber band on a
    door like before. Lift your arm up four or five inches away
    from the body (like lifting weights), holding for five
    seconds. Repeat this 3-5 times.
  39. Shrug

    You can do this exercise while watching TV or sitting at a
    traffic light. Simply shrug your affected shoulder up and
    down slowly 5-10 times a day.
  40. Windmills

    This is an exercise that you’ve probably done as a kid, but
    it can help with your frozen shoulder. Simply hold your arm
    out, and make circles with it. Take turns making small and
    large circles.
  41. Leg Stretches

    It’s a bit unconventional, but some people find that leg
    stretches can really help with frozen shoulder. For this
    exercise, lay down on your back in front of a doorway. Put
    one leg up the wall and one leg out flat, with you arms
    resting at your side. This pose is good for stretching the
    hamstrings of one leg and the hip flexors of the other. Hold
    it for 2-5 minutes.

    OTHER HELPS

    This next set of tips will discuss some other
    things that you can do to help with frozen
    shoulder.
  42. Extra Pillow

    If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, try using an extra
    pillow. Put the pillow under your affected shoulder, and
    sleep on your back or side.
  43. Massage

    Massage has helped many people with frozen shoulder. The
    muscles surrounding your frozen shoulder can become sore
    and tired. Massage can help alleviate these sore muscles.
  44. Supplements

    Here are some supplements that have been known to help
    with frozen shoulder:

    > Glucosamine
    > Fish Oil
    > Honey Bee Venom
  45. TENS Unit

    TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve
    Stimulation. It’s a good and safe way to help with pain and
    relax muscles. It works by stimulating the skin nerves, thus
    helps the brain to ignore incoming pain signals from the
    joint.
  46. Trigger Point Therapy

    Trigger point therapy is a type of specialized self massage
    that weeds out and removes painful muscular contractions. It
    works by applying pressure to the contractions, either with
    your fingers or massage tools.
  47. Yoga

    Yoga is for straightening out your whole body, and it can
    really help with frozen shoulder. If you want to try yoga,
    start out slow and easy. If it winds up causing you more
    pain, yoga probably isn’t for you.
  48. Don’t Stop Moving

    A common mistake of people with frozen shoulder is that
    they keep it still. This is not always the best thing to do.
    Gentle movement will help to keep the blood flowing to
    your shoulder.
  49. Prevention

    If you don’t have frozen shoulder but are worried about
    risk factors, the best way to prevent it is by doing daily
    stretches. Refer to the stretches and exercise section of
    this ebook for ideas.
  50. Research

    Like every health condition or ailment, new research and
    studies are being done every day to better help you cope
    with frozen shoulder. Use the internet and any other
    sources available to you to inform yourself of new
    treatments.
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