A frozen shoulder is frustrating at best, painful at worst. A frozen shoulder usually starts as just a stiffness that is noticeable from time to time. Slowly, it grows from an annoying stiffness to a constant joint pain. A frozen shoulder can interrupt many daily activities such as driving, cooking and even showering. It is important to get the pain checked out as soon as it is noticed. The longer the pain goes on, the harder the shoulder will be to fix.
Before seeing a doctor, or even under a doctor’s guidance, there are many things you can do at home to relieve a frozen shoulder. Begin by taking ibuprofen. This will help take down any swelling in the shoulder, which is often the cause of stiffness.
Alternate between a heating pad and ice packs on the frozen shoulder. This will bring down swelling, relieve pain and loosen up the muscles. Listen to your body. For example, if heat bothers the shoulder, stick with just the ice.
Try out some basic yoga moves to loosen the muscles around the shoulder. The cat, chair and cobra poses are great for the shoulders. Look on channels such as Fit TV and Exercise TV for yoga workouts for beginners. If you have a DVR, record a few different workouts and try them out, then stick with the one that helps your shoulder the most.
If home remedies do not cure the frozen shoulder, see a doctor. A doctor will start you off with an anti-inflammatory medication such as prescription strength naproxen. He will probably want you to take that for several weeks before moving onto any more serious medications.
Corticosteroids may be offered as a next step. Corticosteroids are injected directly into the shoulder to bring down swelling, relieve pain and encourage the muscle to relax. These injections are not a long term solution, however, and if they do not help quickly the doctor will most likely refer you to a physical therapist for more help.
If all else fails, surgery can be done to attempt to cure the frozen shoulder. Your doctor may first put you under general anesthesia and manipulate your shoulder to try to loosen it up. You are put under because this can be quite painful.
If your doctor believes there is actual damage to the shoulder joint itself, he may decide to operate. Invasive surgery can be done to remove scar tissue or fix any other problems within the joint. This is reserved for extreme cases, most frozen shoulders do not require such extreme measures.