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Frozen Shoulder - pain relief

disclaimer - I have no specialised medical knowledge

frozen shoulder - a simple pain-free solution

Stand a couple of feet away from the corner of a table, facing the table with legs slightly more than shoulder width apart. Put the hand of your 'good arm' on the corner of the table and lean forward so it supports your body weight, and so that the hand of your 'bad' arm (the one with the frozen shoulder) is hanging down. Let your bad arm just hang there. Do NOT swing your bad arm. GENTLY rotate your hips and upper body in a circular motion, similar to hula hooping in slow motion. (see Fig 1) You will notice that your hanging arm also rotates very gently in the same direction. Allow your hanging arm to move naturally. After a few rotations (between 10 and 20) pause for a few seconds, then rotate the hips and body in the opposite direction a similar number of times.

That's it!

If the above exercise is very painful, or increases your pain, STOP immediately. It isn't working for you. If the exercise doesn't increase your pain, try repeating it after 15 minutes. If you find it relieves the pain, then the next time your shoulder is painful repeat the exercise. After doing the exercise a few times try doubling the number of rotations to see if this increases the period of relief.

I had frozen shoulder (known medically as Adhesive Capsulitis) and went to various medical specialists without success. One of them gave me exercises which were very painful and if anything seemed to make it worse. I searched the net and found a large number of treatments and therapies suggested, including surgery, drugs, diet, yoga, acupuncture, massage, deep manipulation, trigger therapy, heat treatment, steriod injections, lotions, and a variety of exercises. Many of them claimed that if the suggested remedies were followed exactly, the condition would be cured within a couple of years.

I was confused and disappointed. Then I found a page* which stated very bluntly that in the majority of cases frozen shoulder sorts itself out in 18 months to 2 years regardless of the treatment used, and that many of the treatments, including painful exercises, can make the condition worse. It suggested the above method as a way of relieving the pain. I tried it and it worked.** Not only did it relieve the pain, but within a month my shoulder was noticeably freer, and within a couple of months it was near enough back to normal.

Searching the web brings up thousands of pages on "frozen shoulder" but this particular pain relief treatment is hard to find, which is a pity because I found it very effective, and it doesn't rely on expensive consultations and treatments.

* The original page is no longer online. There is also an article which gives a more technical account of this exercise in the September 2000 issue of "The Physician and Sportsmedicine" (Vol 28, No 9), but it is only available on subscription.

** I had been suffering from frozen shoulder for at least a year when i started using the exercise. Perhaps it coincided with the condition beginning to heal itself, but the pain was strong enough to keep me from sleeping, and when i finally slept it would often wake me a few hours later.

My frozen shoulder was probably brought on by repeatedly putting my arm in an unnatural position. Typically this was reaching behind me while sitting down, twisting round to pick up a heavy book with one hand. This often resulted in a sharp 'twinge' in my arm and shoulder, but I thought nothing of it at the time. The same twinge also sometimes happened when i was reaching under a shelf to the back of a ground level cupboard. Another sufferer told me that before the frozen shoulder came on she'd been getting similar twinges when in her car, sitting in the driving seat, and twisting round to pick up her heavy bag with one hand from the seat behind her. So if you are getting strange twinges when doing similar actions, stop doing them! Turn right round and pick up the object normally!

Weed  (last edited April 2013)

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thanks to byrd for the Physician and Sportsmedicine link
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revised 9 June 2013
URL http://www.wussu.com/various/frozen_shoulder.htm