Diagnosis

Certain movements and muscle relaxation will be instructed to you by the doctor in order to assess your range of motion and pain, or inject an anesthetic or numbing medicine. Both active and passive range of motion can be affected by a frozen shoulder.

Your signs and symptoms can diagnose a frozen shoulder but diagnostic tests such as an X-ray or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) might be recommended to confirm it.

Treatment

The following treatment can be done to alleviate the pain and conserve the shoulder’s range of motion:

  • Shoulder exercises. Exercises that will control the shoulder pain and conserve its range of motion can treat frozen shoulder.
  • Medications. Over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Therapy. range-of-motion exercises as taught by physical therapist to help optimize and recover mobility.
  • Surgical and other procedures. Frozen shoulder mostly resolves on its own within a year up to 18 months. If symptoms persist, the doctor may recommend:
    • Steroid injections. Improves shoulder mobility and reduces pain, especially if received in an earlier stage.
    • Joint distension. Sterile water injection to the joint capsule to mobilize the joint and stretch the tissue.
    • Shoulder manipulation. A general anesthesia is given by the doctor so you will unconscious and not feel the pain. The doctor then loosens the tightened tissue by moving the shoulder joints in various directions.
    • Surgery. It is uncommon to perform surgery for a frozen shoulder but if everything else fails, surgery may be recommended by the doctor. The surgery removes scar tissues and adhesions inside your shoulder joint and is usually done by arthroscopically.
  • Lifestyle and home remedies. It is best to use or move the affected shoulder based on your pain or range of motion limitations. Heat or cold compress can also relieve the pain.