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What are the Best Frozen Shoulder Cures?

By Jami Yontz
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many types of frozen shoulder cures, and each can be used in conjunction with one another to loosen a stiff and contracted shoulder joint. Depending on the severity of the person’s frozen shoulder symptoms, surgery or cortisone injections may be an option. Most physicians will recommend stretches for the muscles of the shoulder as well as moist heat and ice treatments. Sometimes, the patient may need physical therapy, or a physician will prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication. Natural alternatives for frozen shoulder cures include acupuncture, trancutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and distension.

Performing stretches should be included in any frozen shoulder treatment plan. Stretches should be performed a few times a day to strengthen the muscles in the shoulder and to increase the shoulder’s range of motion. A physician will usually recommend both posterior shoulder stretches and anterior shoulder stretches to increase the shoulder’s ability to rotate and fully extend. Exercises to strengthen the pectoral muscles and the biceps are also recommended to strengthen the surrounding muscles and ligaments of the joint.

Another important type of frozen shoulder cures is heat and ice treatments. Applying heat helps to loosen the joint and reduce pain so that a person can more easily perform the stretches. Also, using an ice pack to reduce inflammation in the joint can help to reduce pain. A physician may recommend that the person see a physical therapist who can help the person perform stretches and apply hot and cold treatment on a regular basis. People with a frozen shoulder need to be able to stretch and perform these frozen shoulder exercises a few times day, so a physical therapist is usually only used as a supplemental treatment option.

Anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections are another type of frozen shoulder treatment. The inflammation of the shoulder joint capsule can be quite painful, and this pain can prevent someone from performing the necessary stretches. Both anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections help to reduce the inflammation, but they should only be used if the person is also performing the exercises.

Surgery is a final option for those where the other less invasive frozen shoulder treatments were unsuccessful in alleviating the pain. An arthroscopic capsular release can be performed to treat a frozen shoulder. Also, the physician may complete a manipulation of the shoulder by manually moving the shoulder around to loosen the contracted joint while the person is under anesthesia.

Acupuncture, TENS and distension are also frozen shoulder treatment options. During acupuncture, small needles are inserted into the tender areas of the frozen shoulder or inserted into the non-frozen shoulder to perform contralateral needling. TENS is a type of treatment where electrodes are placed strategically over nerves, which will send impulses to the body to release endorphins that reduce joint pain. Distension is performed to expand the tissue around the joint by injecting water into the joint’s surrounding tissue. Usually, a frozen shoulder heals through these methods, but the person may need perform regular frozen shoulder cures for up to 26 months to regain the shoulder’s full range of motion.

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