Most frozen shoulder treatment involves controlling shoulder pain and preserving as much range of motion in the shoulder as possible.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with frozen shoulder. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe stronger pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory drugs.
A physical therapist can teach you stretching exercises to help maintain as much mobility in your shoulder as possible.
Surgical and other procedures
Most frozen shoulders get better on their own within 12 to 18 months. For persistent symptoms, your doctor may suggest:
Apr. 28, 2011
- Steroid injections. Injecting corticosteroids into your shoulder joint may help decrease pain and improve shoulder mobility.
- Joint distension. Injecting sterile water into the joint capsule can help stretch the tissue and make it easier to move the joint.
- Shoulder manipulation. In this procedure, you receive a general anesthetic so you'll be unconscious and feel no pain. Then the doctor moves your shoulder joint in different directions, to help loosen the tightened tissue. Depending on the amount of force used, this procedure can cause bone fractures.
- Surgery. If nothing else has helped, you may be a candidate for surgery to remove scar tissue and adhesions from inside your shoulder joint. Doctors usually perform this surgery arthroscopically, with lighted, tubular instruments inserted through small incisions around your joint.
- Miller RH, et al. Adhesive capsulitis. In: Canale ST, et al. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1584/0.html. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
- Frozen shoulder. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00071. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
- Anderson BC. Frozen shoulder. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
- Krabik BJ, et al. Adhesive capsulitis. In: Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
- Acupuncture: An introduction. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/introduction.htm. Accessed Feb. 10, 2011.
- Podichetty VK, et al. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. In: Walsh D, et al. Palliative Medicine. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?sid=1116301723&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05674-8..50252-8--cesec9&isbn=978-0-323-05674-8&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05674-8..50252-8--cesec9&uniqId=235264301-3. Accessed Feb. 10, 2011.
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