Frozen shoulder

(109 Posts)
jmh740 Fri 12-Jun-20 22:56:28

Does anyone have any advice I was diagnosed with frozen shoulder today. I'd never heard of it before but someone suggested that could be what I had and the gp agreed. I found some exercises on u tube and did them this morning will carry on with those
The gp said it could last from 1 to 3 years and its likely it will get worse before it gets better. She prescribed naproxen. Can any one offer and advice for me to deal with this?
Thank you

OP’s posts: |
Redshoeblueshoe Fri 12-Jun-20 23:01:45

I had this, several years ago. I was referred to a physio, she gave me a series of exercises. It certainly didn't last as long as your GP said. I think it was a few months

Hulututu Fri 12-Jun-20 23:14:35

I have this too. It started out painful but only if I moved my arm into certain positions but I’ve slowly lost nearly all mobility over the past few weeks and it’s so painful all the time. There’s 3 phases apparently; painful, movement stops, rehabilitation. My physio has stopped working on mine and told me not to do the exercises at the moment. I’ve also seen a shoulder surgeon who is going to operate on it next week. Although, the physio doesn’t agreed with this and said that the hydro injection would be better for now, he says that will relive the pain and the high pressure water expands the capsule so I can then start physio again to get some movement back. Is yours painful?

jmh740 Fri 12-Jun-20 23:23:38

Yes its painful, I can reach up with my left arm but only about 90 degrees with my right

OP’s posts: |
granadagirl Fri 12-Jun-20 23:31:20

I had the hydro injection it was brilliant
I was so scared, it’s not really an operation as such. You can watch it via the monitor as they inject the water,(that’s once your relaxed!) it got rid off mine

TheWoollybacksWife Fri 12-Jun-20 23:43:03

My sympathies. I'm on my second frozen shoulder. I had surgery to repair the first one three years ago and the other shoulder started to freeze earlier this year. I now have about 30 degrees of mobility in any direction. Getting dressed and undressed is difficult and I'm struggling with things like washing and brushing my hair.

jmh740 Fri 12-Jun-20 23:52:05

I'm already struggling to wash my hair and take my bra and tops off, I love having a soak in the bath but havent been able to have a bath for months as I cant push up with my arm to get out, a shower is just not the same.

OP’s posts: |


jmh740 Fri 12-Jun-20 23:53:15

The gp also said because I'm diabetic I'm more prone to it when I asked why she said it's just one of those things!

OP’s posts: |
junecat Fri 12-Jun-20 23:55:45

I had this and was in agony. I paid a fortune in physio that made no difference. I had a cortisone injection at the doctors and physio everyday starting a week afterwards and I've had no problem since.

JE17 Sat 13-Jun-20 00:15:40

My sympathies, I’m a year in. The first few months was just gradual loss of movement but no pain. Then came the awful pain from the slightest knock or jar to my arm, it was horrendous. Physio and a cortisone injection did not help at all. I had an MRI followed by an operation in Feb which got rid of the pain (removed the calcification) but the mobility is still not coming back and my doctor has said it could be at least another year. I can’t believe I’ve already had a year of not being able to do so many simple things which i used to take for granted. My Mum also suffered with this, and as soon as one side got better it began in the other shoulder, so I’ll be living in dread of that.

Redshoeblueshoe Sat 13-Jun-20 00:19:48

Mine never recurred. But I'm not diabetic, so I don't know about that.

TheWoollybacksWife Sat 13-Jun-20 00:20:08

The cortisone injection did nothing for me apart from a week or two of reduced pain but it wasn't followed up with physio - that might have made a difference. The surgery was brilliant. I had a numb arm from the nerve block that lasted until the next day but after that I didn't have any issues.

It is apparently more common in women particularly diabetics and those with thyroid problems.

GinWithRosie Sat 13-Jun-20 01:02:39

It can last for many years depending on his 'frozen' it is. I've had 3 frozen shoulders now...and twice had to be operated on after over three years of treatment that did not work. The very worst affected shoulder (the first time my left shoulder froze, but actually my second frozen shoulder!) I eventually only had a 10% rotation. The most pain is when it is still 'freezing' which can take many months or even years...a physio won't work on it properly until it has stopped being that needs to be much calmer (in full 'freeze') for them to be able to try to manipulate it. You can of course still take various medications for pain relief and do some simple stretching exercises if you are able.

When I had surgery, I had shoulder manipulation and shoulder arthroscopy under general anaesthetic. The third time I recovered after 18 months of physio and also some acupuncture.

My left shoulder feels very much like it is starting to freeze again...this will be the third time for the side if it is 🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️ I am doing lots of stretching exercises at the moment to try to stop it from of the benefits of hindsight and experience is that I can feel when it is starting to flare up and try to head it off at the starting block!

Good luck OP 👍

GinWithRosie Sat 13-Jun-20 01:07:22

Oh and as others have said..the pain in the 'freezing' stage is horrendous!! The slightest knock or jar and you are in a world of hurt 😢

You will know when you have fully 'frozen' because the pain stops...and your arm is just stuck 😂

It's at this stage that you never try on clothes whilst out shopping 👍😂😱

k1233 Sat 13-Jun-20 01:10:41

I was very lucky and picked mine up super early - it was because I was putting deodorant on in front of the bathroom mirror and noticed my right arm didn't go up to the same height as the left. Luckily I was seeing the physio so showed him and he said it was the beginning of frozen shoulder - people don't normally pick it up that early. I see an exercise physiologist weekly because I've got a problem knee and he's really helped improve my movement. So between him and my physio I did exercises with the shoulder (very uncomfortable) and it's good now. Physio was very happy with the young guys work and would give me things to pass along about where the restriction was presenting and what phase of movement we needed to focus on and exercise physiologist would work out the exercises.

AdaColeman Sat 13-Jun-20 01:26:05

Masses of sympathy OP. thanks thanks
I had my frozen shoulders manipulated under GA. Although it was a relief to get movement back, over time it became obvious that the rotator cuff had been badly damaged, and my shoulder started to dislocate frequently, when putting on a jacket for instance. It happened so often that I could slip it back in myself!
Eventually, I had the whole shoulder rebuilt, and was out of action for about three months.

I’d advise acupuncture and exercise combined as an early step, rather than the surgical intervention that I had.

CGWGWOO Sat 13-Jun-20 01:30:07

Mine was 2 years and it did Ger worse before it got better

oldstripeyNEWname1 Sat 13-Jun-20 02:06:43

Sympathies OP and PPs. Recognition of what others say!

Women, especially peri&early post menopausal are apparently more prone, due to hormonal changes affecting muscle mass and physiognomy. Secondly, the way we tend to carry weight over one shoulder whilst doing something with other hand (yeah, multitasking)

Naprixon is OKish for pain relief but Drs won't prescribe for long for side effects - endure you have a stomach protection like omiprazole (sp?) too. Short term, the cheap freeze spray and patches at least helped me get some relief to sleep.

Manipulation from Chiro & exercises helped me (the finger tip walking up the wall esp, v v gradual progress).

Most important though was cortisol & water injections with specialist. Some gps can do them, but only licensed to do so with small amount of liquid.

Specialist (consultant surgeon, winding down to retirement, working two days a week) referral through chiro. Honest that current research indicates water in cortisol injection possibly as much use in opening up capsule. Either way, able to use much greater amounts of both. Three injections, targeted using ultrasound. V painful for next 48 hrs, eased within week, improvement in movement range in weeks, resolved in 2 months. No recurrence in 5 years. First shoulder (right) took almost 2 years before saw specialist, second shoulder (left) saw him within month of diagnosis.

Cant remember uothread if someone mentioned the clingfilm analogy? Sorry if repeating. Muscle becomes like clingfilm covering very hot dish taken out of microwave. Shrinks inward, attaching itself to food, all air & liquid btwn removed. Clingfilm/muscle becomes unworkable. Aim of manipulation, inection etc is to introduce liquid back between layers, to allow muscle/film to become malleable again.


priya38 Sat 13-Jun-20 02:12:25

I had frozen shoulder and it did last about 3 years. It didn't hurt unless I was getting dressed or undressed and needed to lift my right arm right up.

H&B told me to try devils claw, which I did but they didn't do anything.

Fox43 Sat 13-Jun-20 03:47:20

So sorry you're going through that!
It's pure agony and frustrating.
Definitely see a physiotherapist.
Exercise to improve mobility and strengthen the muscles should help but definitely first see that physio, they will be excellent.
I hope it improves and you can have some relief. Sending gentle hugs.

Fox43 Sat 13-Jun-20 03:48:48

Bloody hilarious! I've been there, stuck in the dressing room. Absolute nightmare.

Chicchicchicchiclana Sat 13-Jun-20 03:59:29


millysmoo Sat 13-Jun-20 06:39:39

I am 22 months into my frozen shoulder and it’s been horrendous. Even now, I still can’t pull myself out of the bath. I’ve got to do a full 360 turn, and get up on my hands and knees!

I was given the steroid injection, physio and Naproxen. Eventually I was prescribed Gabapentin, which got right on top of the pain.

I’m almost pain free now and got much more mobility. However, it’s still restricted and I don’t think I’ll ever be back to 100%. I really feel for those who’ve had it more than once. I honestly don’t think I’d cope with a second bout.

GinWithRosie Sat 13-Jun-20 09:02:28

@Fox43 it’s so embarrassing isn’t it? Getting the thing ‘on’ was not too bad...but the range of movements necessary to take it ‘off’ were completely beyond me 😱🤦‍♀️ I was stuck with a dress half way over my head unable to do anything else...couldn’t get it up or back down again 🤦‍♀️ I had to go out with my knickers and lower half all on display and call for mortified!

BestIsWest Sat 13-Jun-20 09:40:46

I am 19 months into my second frozen shoulder. It is, as others have said,excruciating in the freezing phase.

The first time I had it, about 10 years ago, it did indeed last 3 years but I have full movement back in that shoulder now.

I had the hydrodilation this time and it definitely helped. It stopped the excruciating pain although it is still quite painful and it increased my range of movement. Beforehand I couldn’t reach my left armpit with my right hand to wash.

It’s still very limited - I cant do a bra up unless it’s very stretchy and taking things off over the head is tricky.

Up until lockdown I was swimming twice a week which helped enormously - couldn’t have done it before the hydrdilatation but afterwards I could manage a one arm crawl, one arm doggy addle sort of style which helped keep the strength up in my arm.

I do the 360 turn in the bath too!

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in