How Do You Relieve the Pain of a Frozen Shoulder?


Quick Answer

To relieve pain caused by a frozen shoulder, take ibuprofen or another over-the-counter pain reliever, and apply ice packs to the affected shoulder after an exercise session to reduce pain and inflammation, recommends eMedicineHealth. Full treatment involves the use of physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections.

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Full Answer

A frozen shoulder may persist permanently and lead to loss of range of motion if not aggressively treated, notes eMedicineHealth. Regular physical therapy typically takes weeks or months and includes exercise techniques that improve range of motion, strengthening exercises, ice pack application, ultrasound and electric stimulation. You may take oral cortisone medications or receive injections to the shoulder joint. To avoid damaging your shoulder tissues during the rehabilitation process, avoid abrupt, jerking movements or lifting heavy objects.

Frozen shoulders often resolve within 12 to 18 months, according to Mayo Clinic. If symptoms persist, a possible treatment is joint distension, in which the doctor injects sterile water into the painful shoulder's joint capsule to stretch the shoulder tissue. Surgery is a rare option and involves the removal of scar tissue from the inner area of the shoulder joint.

If unresponsive to treatment, doctors may suggest breaking the scar tissue of the scarred shoulder's joint capsule, reports eMedicineHealth. This procedure requires an active exercise regimen post-surgery to improve the shoulder's movement and function.

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