Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, is an often-painful condition characterized by stiffness in the shoulder that eventually makes it difficult — or even impossible — to move your shoulder and arm.
The debilitating condition can significantly decrease your range of motion and make everyday activities such as getting dressed, driving, performing chores, or taking a shower difficult.
If you think you may be suffering from this condition, there are some do’s and don’ts for frozen shoulder. Following these guidelines can help you manage the pain and hopefully get back to normal.
Do keep you with your physical therapy. Physical therapy is a cornerstone of treating a frozen shoulder. But it only works if you put in the effort. That means attending regularly and performing any exercises or stretches at home that your therapist may recommend.
When attending physical therapy, remember that it’s essential that you are following the rules set forth by your therapist, so you don’t overdo it. This could delay your recovery and increase the amount of pain you’re feeling.
Don’t immobilize your shoulder completely. When you’re suffering from a frozen shoulder, simply moving the joint can cause extreme pain. Despite this, it’s important not to keep your shoulder still for too long, that will only cause it to stiffen further, delay recovery, and eventually increase the amount of pain you’re experiencing.
Do consult a physician. If you’re experiencing a frozen shoulder, you may need treatment that goes beyond physical therapy to manage the pain and recover. A doctor can prescribe medication, administer injections or even recommend surgery to treat frozen shoulder, especially if you have been dealing with it for a long period of time.
Don’t sleep on it. Individuals dealing with frozen shoulders often experience more pain at night. It’s important that you don’t sleep on it. Instead, try to sleep on your back.
Do use an ice pack. Icing your shoulder can help relieve some of the inflammation that causes a frozen shoulder. Try icing it three to four times a day for about 10 minutes.
Don’t expect an overnight cure. A frozen shoulder can take weeks, months, or even years to cure.
Do expect to recover. In many cases, individuals dealing with frozen shoulder do recover. In fact, for many people, the frozen shoulders begin to decrease, and they can even experience a full recovery.