Medical interventions, including corticosteroids, numbing medications, or surgery, are sometimes used for very painful cases of frozen shoulder, with over-the-counter painkillers providing temporary relief. The primary goal is to address the underlying issue using natural remedies such as targeted exercises, shoulder stretches, natural pain relief, and inflammation reduction.
Stages and Symptoms of Frozen Shoulders
In the frozen stage, the shoulder is stiff but not painful at rest, with a limited range of motion and pain during stretching. In the final thawing stage, shoulder mobility improves, but intermittent pain remains, especially at night or when pressure is applied to the shoulder. Frozen shoulder often develops slowly over weeks or months and is categorized into 3–4 stages, each lasting 1-3 months and causing varying pain and stiffness levels, with symptoms differing based on the stage.
- Limited motion
Frozen shoulder causes:
- Scarring, inflammation, shrinkage, and thickening of the shoulder joint capsule
- Shoulder injuries such as tendinitis, bursitis, and rotator cuff syndrome
- Risk factors for diabetes
- Chronic shoulder arthritis
- Breast surgery
- Prolonged shoulder joint immobility
- It predominantly occurs in individuals aged 40–60.
- More common in women
Warming Up and Stretching for Frozen Shoulders:
A critical aspect of addressing a frozen shoulder is warming up the affected area to increase blood flow and prevent further injuries. Remember that healing and progress may take months, so be patient during your recovery. To effectively warm up and stretch the shoulder, consider the following approaches:
- Heat Application: Applying heat for about 10–15 minutes is beneficial before engaging in shoulder stretches. You can use a commercial heating pad or create your heat pack.
- Warm Shower or Bath: Taking a warm shower or bath, possibly with Epsom salt, can help relax the shoulder muscles and prepare them for stretching.
- Gentle Circular Motions: Start by making small circular motions with your shoulder to gently move it. This aids in promoting blood flow and gradually restoring mobility.
- Slight Tension and Soreness: During your stretches, focus on achieving slight tension and soreness. Avoid pushing too hard or too soon to prevent further discomfort.
- Post-Stretch Soreness: Pay attention to any soreness that may occur after stretching. This soreness must resolve within about 15 minutes, indicating that the stretches are performed safely.
Improving Shoulder Mobility with Exercises
Once you’ve effectively warmed up your stiff shoulder while maintaining a state of relaxation—aided by deep breathing—you can proceed with a series of shoulder and arm exercises. It’s crucial to stretch and move your shoulder to the point of experiencing mild tension while avoiding exercises that cause significant pain. During the initial weeks, focus on enhancing flexibility and mobility. Subsequently, you can incorporate resistance to bolster shoulder strength as part of your ongoing recovery. Medriva is one of best platform to get guidance on any information on your health topics.
Physical Therapy for Frozen Shoulders
If persistent pain and limited mobility hinder your daily activities, consulting a physical therapist is advisable. They can prescribe personalized exercises and stretches to enhance your range of motion, strength, and flexibility. In certain cases, a 4- to 12-week course of physical therapy may be required to effectively address frozen shoulders. Typically, this treatment duration helps restore a normal range of motion.
Natural Pain Relief for Frozen Shoulders
Maintaining gradual movement is essential for treating frozen shoulders, but it can be uncomfortable. Instead of relying on medications, consider holistic approaches like essential oils and muscle relaxers to naturally manage pain. Peppermint oil can enhance circulation, reduce inflammation, and alleviate discomfort when applied to the affected shoulder. Other options include massage therapy, and acupuncture can help reduce swelling and enhance range of motion.
Post-Surgery Recovery and Long-Term Outcomes
If you go through shoulder surgery, ongoing physical therapy for six weeks is crucial for maintaining mobility. While most patients experience favorable long-term results with improved range of motion and minimal discomfort, complete recovery may not always occur, and stiffness can persist for some. Diabetic individuals might continue to experience shoulder discomfort post-surgery, and the frozen shoulder may reoccur, particularly if predisposing conditions like diabetes persist.
A frozen shoulder can be triggered by various factors, including injuries, surgeries, inflammatory conditions, and hormonal imbalances. Fortunately, gentle stretches and exercises are effective treatments, with physical therapy as an option for more challenging cases. For valuable guidance and information on frozen shoulder, Medriva can be a useful resource.
What approach should be taken to cure frozen shoulder naturally?
One natural approach is to apply heat for 10 to 15 minutes, take a warm shower or bath, and start gently moving the shoulder in small circular motions if possible.
Can massaging frozen shoulders be useful?
Massage and stretching can be extremely beneficial for relieving tension while improving the flow of the blood and reducing inflammation.