Experiences withFrozen shoulder
- you have shoulder pain and stiffness that does not go away – pain can be worse at night when sleeping
- the pain is so bad it makes it hard to move your arm and shoulder
These are symptoms of frozen shoulder.
Treatment for frozen shoulder
Broadly, treatment works in 3 main steps:
- Pain relief – avoid movements that cause you pain. Only move your shoulder gently. Use paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease the pain.
- Stronger pain and swelling relief – prescribed painkillers. Maybe steroid injections in your shoulder to bring down the swelling.
- Getting movement back – shoulder exercises once it's less painful. This can be at home or with a physiotherapist.
You may get a mix of these treatments depending on how painful and stiff your shoulder is.
Stronger pain relief is usually only used for a short time because it can cause side effects.
How you can ease pain from frozen shoulder yourself
follow any exercises from your GP or physiotherapist
move your shoulder – keeping it still will make the pain worse
try heat packs on your shoulder
do not make up your own strenuous exercises – for example, gym equipment can make the pain worse
Causes of frozen shoulder
It's often not clear why people get a frozen shoulder.
Frozen shoulder happens when the tissue around your shoulder joint becomes inflamed.
The tissue then gets tighter and shrinks, which causes pain.
Frozen shoulder can happen because:
- you had an injury or surgery that keeps you from moving your arm normally
- you have diabetes – it's still unclear why this is, but it's important to have your regular diabetes check-ups to catch any problems early
Symptoms of frozen shoulder include pain and stiffness in your shoulder that does not go away.
Treatment for frozen shoulder includes painkillers and exercises to help you get movement back in your shoulder.
It's not always clear what causes frozen shoulder. It can happen after an injury or surgery, or if you have diabetes.
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