Frozen shoulder: the searing pain, the sleepless nights, the inability to do basic things like get dressed or make a cup of tea or hold your child’s hand. It is one of the most painful and life challenging conditions I see in my clinic.
Here are 5 quick Dos and Don’ts I offer as advice to my patients.
DO follow your doctor’s and osteopath’s advice on pain relief.
Even if you prefer conservative care, sometimes you just need to do what you need to do.
DO your mobility exercises on both sides
Even if you can’t do all of them with your frozen shoulder, research is showing that exercising the unaffected arm in many shoulder conditions can help the affected shoulder. The brain is amazing isn’t it!?
DO Attend your sessions
Treatment helps move things along much faster. You move more, and feel less isolated. You’ll feel more confident to work within your range of movement when guided by someone you know and trust.
DO pay attention to your sleep
Frozen shoulder pain can disrupt your sleep, especially in the early months. Getting good sleep can help with the right kind of inflammatory processes, and can help injured tissues heal. Growth hormone is secreted at night when we sleep, helping with both of these.
DO keep yourself informed of your options
There are a variety of ways frozen shoulder can be helped, with varying degrees of invasiveness. Knowing your options can help you with the feelings of vulnerability that frozen shoulder can sometimes cause. I have several sheets I give to patients to help guide them through appointments as they consider surgery and injections. Ask and I’ll send them to you.
DON’T stop moving your arm.
It is natural to not want to feel pain, but your frozen shoulder may progress more quickly to ‘frozen’. Movement is important. Move within your most comfortable range and avoid heavy stretching and strong movements – they don’t help and the pain isn’t worth it if it doesn’t help.
DON’T neglect your diet.
Frozen shoulder is strongly associated with many low-level systemic inflammatory conditions. Your body needs healthy, anti inflammatory foods to help support your recovery.
DON’T continue doing tasks that cause pain when jolting or pulling if you can avoid them – like walking dogs, catching objects
As your body is healing, continue to do smooth movements but avoid jarring and jolting your shoulder.
DON’T skip sessions or progress your own exercises
Your shoulder may feel ‘the same’ to you when it’s frozen, but your body is always changing. Treatment and exercises will be adapted or maintained as is to make the most of your natural healing ability and phase of recovery.
DON’T be afraid. You aren’t alone.
I’ll be expanding into a very in depth look at frozen shoulder, pseudofrozen shoulder and other ways of helping yourself.
If you want more support, visit my frozen shoulder support group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/upliftsupport