Frozen shoulder

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 Frozen shoulder can occur randomly or from trauma. I'm wondering how many of the above cases started with trauma.   It seems random frozen shoulder has three stages and will often go away by itself with physical therapy.  In my case I broke my shoulder 4 months ago at my sons trampoline park birthday party. I was in a sling for 2 weeks and went to physical therapy a few times to increase strength and mobility. I decided to do the exercises on my own  because my PT is not covered by my insurance. Six weeks later  i'm wondering why my shoulder is getting worse instead of better. Diagnosed with frozen shoulder. Now PT twice a week shows very small improvements. I'm wondering since mine was caused by an injury if I should jump to MUA then continue with physical therapy for possibly faster results. Most of my pain is caused by sudden movements, painful night sleeps,and stiffness/pain in the morning. I'm waiting until January  to start a new deductible for either MUA or more PT.  From everything I've read frozen shoulder can take years to heal with no guarantee of being 100% back to normal.  So far my doctor still recommends PT as it's the least intrusive method and because even tiny improvements are improvements. I just don't want to waste money on PT for months only to end up in surgery and then have more PT. Any suggestions?

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  • Posted

    Mine started with trauma, five months ago. Had my arm in a sling for the weekend. Frozen shoulder set in shortly afterwards.

    My physio doesn't advise MUA as he says it can cause more damage.

    I'm very slowly recovering. Still in pain and still frozen but nowhere near as bad as it's been so no longer take painkillers.

    Good luck with whatever route you choose. It's an awful condition and no one really seems to know what works best. I took the physio route, although would have considered other options if I'd not seen any improvement as I was getting to the end of my tether.

  • Posted

    Mine started with a bad fall at work in June 2014, finally had surgery on the 1st shoulder in August 2015, now my surgeon has said the second shoulder is in the freezing stage (it also has a rotar tear , to be fixed later) - it is very depressing. The second shoulder is from over use when my right shoulder was freezing. My surgeon will be operating on my shoulder after the frozen shoulder has completed the freezing stage. He said no PT untill after surgery (same as 1st shoulder), and that worked out great .
  • Posted

    Lori50, PT is a joke. Talk to anyone with FS, it only inflames it more. MUA is not guaranteed to make it better, in cases, you can get FS again from the MUA. You have to ride the storm. I am doing chiropractic care, just to align my back. Massage therapy and reflexology. My last one lasted 9 months...........praying this one is less or the same amount of time. I started an anti-inflammation/auto-immune diet also. BEST of luck to you.
  • Posted

    I agree that PT is a waste of time and money.  I went to many sessions and it only decreased my ROM for a while.  Am currently dealing with 2 frozen shoulders and am just taking it easy, hoping time will heal them.  All the best to you.
  • Posted

    Hi, I broke my humerus in March and had surgery three times since then. The third was for a capsular release because I reached a plateau of improvement that indicated a scar tissue blockage that would not likely clear out on its own like idiopathic froaen shoulder. What I can tell you is that recovery from a broken humerus requires intense rehab. You have to push the limits of your pain multiple times a day for many months to get back rom. PT is crucial but the therapists can only do so much. I have gone 4-5 times a week for intensive manual stretching and manipulation and spend 3+ hours a day doing exercises and hot tub/pool! Don't give up until you believe you have plateaued, if so, get a capsular release done but that isn't a quick fix either. It sets you back about three months... ie, go back 3 to start moving ahead long term. I'm working even harder now after the capsular release than I was before!! But it's working.... good luck.

  • Posted

    I got my fa from a surgery on June 1st so trama! I had pt fro 4 months then my dr started talking surgery! I said let's wait and see how it is at 6 months she said the further you get away from June 1st the harder your recovery will be! I was like everything tells me to wait till I know it's frozen so I waited till 6 months and did the surgery! I now understand her comment! It is hard to retrain your muscles and brain the longer you get away from using them! Just my input!

  • Posted

    Hi Lori

    I don't think it matters if you get a frozen shoulder from trauma or it just happens for no reason.  A frozen shoulder diagnosis for whatever reason can take a long time to get better.  I injured my shoulder and as a result it became frozen. This was 20 months ago. I had hydradilation followed by intense physio as recommended to me.  There are three stages to a frozen shoulder and thankfully I am in the thawing stage now.  I have gained a lot of movement back but not 100% yet.  It takes a long time and as your doctor says tiny improvements are improvements and that's how it was for me. I thought it would never get better, it's been a long slow and painful process but I stuck to the physiotherapy and religiously did the exercises on a daily basis.  I also brought a pulley system early on as advised by the physio and that really helped.  I am a theatre nurse and I would not go for an MUA at your early stage, I would explore other options first like hydradilation or a steroid injection followed by physio.  Good luck I hope you  get the help you need and that you feel better soon.

  • Posted

    On Feb 2015 I fell on ice and landed on my shoulder. Went thru 5 months of p.t. before I was sent to an ortho. He sent me for an mri with contrast which showed a slap tear. Had surgery in August of 2015. But March 2016 I was in pain again. Had another mri with contrast and 8t retore. May of 2016 had surgery to repair again along with a bicep tendonsis. A week after that I couldn't move my arm. Frozen shoulder set in quickly. Had 6 weeks of intensive p.t. that didn't help at all. Ended up with my 3rd surgery within a yr on my shoulder for adhesive capsulitis release and mua. My are still wouldn't move during the mua but with A LOT of p.t. my frozen shoulder is gone but it has set me back about 6 months with recovery from the previous surgery. Hope you get some relief soon! It's definitely not something I'd wish on my worst enemy.

    • Posted

      Deb you sound similar to me how long since your capsular release and mua? What's your range now?

    • Posted

      Probably. I did comment on another post. My mua capsule release was July 26th. Due to that and the bicep tendonsis I still struggle with range of motion and some pain. Hoping withing the next few months it gets better
    • Posted

      Forward range I can get it close to 80 degrees but once I get it so high my arm starts to wing out and not go straight up. Out to the side is about 60 degrees but still dealing with nerve impingement in the elbow and still can't get it behind me. How are you doing?

    • Posted

      I had the bicep tendinosis too in June! That and a labrum year and some bone shaving that's what I got FS from! Never got to pt that because arm was locked after sling so just starting the pt ! Got a new pt on Wednesday so it's going good sore from overdoing it today

    • Posted

      Yes that exactly what I had done. I haven't been in p.t. for a few months now cuz workman's comp says it's not work related (I am fighting that) and my personal insurance only covered so much. I've been working it at home and I think that's one reason it's taking longer to heal. I'm glad you got a new p.t. and that things are going well for you!

  • Posted

    Hi Lori:

    I think we all need to pick the care plan that we'll least regret.

    FS is self-limiting - it will get better. (So far I've only read stories from health providers, not from those who have actually had FS, that the pain never gets better.)

    From what I've read the past year & a half, and from my experience with both shoulders,  PT may be helpful (especially with cortisone) in the very earliest part of the freezing stage, is never helpful in the frozen stage, and is most beneficial in the thawing stage. Aggressive PT is never wise; the best PT takes you just to the point of pain & then backs off, to avoid creating more inflammation.

    I chose the 'natural' route of treatment, with very good pain management, gentle PT when I felt I needed it, and intentionally using my arm as normally as possible in every stage. (Of course that looked ridiculous sometimes biggrin but it's apparently good for the brain & muscle memory.) This forum was essential in helping me deal with FS.

    I decided not to have MUA or capsular release. I would have considered surgery if the medical community knew what the cause of FS is, and if the results were better. Several studies I've read assure that MUA is only indicated for 5% of FS sufferers, so most of us don't need to look that direction. 

    My worst pain, like you're describing, lasted about 4 months while freezing. It's quite scary isn't it. It makes a world of difference once it's frozen, the pain is minimal & you can sleep...of course you can hardly brush your hair for a bit! Since starting to thaw 10 months ago, my arm has been quickly improving & is at 90% ROM so far.

    It sounds like you're still freezing. If you read back quite a ways, you'll find a lot of good tips & encouragement from others who've been where you are. 

    All the best as you heal & welcome to the group - unfortunately! cheesygrin 


  • Posted

    Well if you are in us and have insurance you will prob meet your out of pocket max if you at some point end up having the surgery? I did pt for months then did the surgery so I met my out of pocket max so it didn't matter that I did pt before? Something to look at?

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