Debbie seeks reassurance regarding treatment for a frozen shoulder

February 24, 2016

I have a ‘frozen shoulder’ (can’t raise my arm above my head or behind back), also upper arm pain – has been going on for 8 months now. Not as painful as it was, but limited movement in arm.

GP referred me to physio who have recommended that I have a fluroscopic guided injection followed by physio.

I would like to know if this is something you would advise.



February 24, 2016

Hi Debbie

Nobody is really sure why you get a frozen shoulder – but they are self limiting within an 18ish month period.

They are mostly in (and lots of other things) menopausal women and on their non dominant shoulder – but saying that they can also affect any and everybody.

There are 3 stages – freezing, frozen and defrosting.

Yours sounds pretty frozen – limited movement with not much pain.

Physio doesn’t, can’t, shouldn’t do anything in this stage. No machines, no poking, no stretching. It just doesn’t help.

But, your good Physio mentioned a jab – under fluoroscopy to see what’s being squirted where inside of your joint.

There are a few things that can be squirted into the capsule (like a Tesco’s bag that surrounds the joint, but becomes collapsed and thickened in a frozen shoulder).

Some people squirt steroid in (if it’s painful) but you’ll probably have hydrodilation – which is large volume saline, steroid and local anaesthetic. It’s injected under fluoroscopy to stretch the sticky adhesion in your capsule – giving your range of motion back.

Lots of Physio afterwards to maintain the range. Pretty good efficacy. Smily faces all ’round!

Good luck

The Guru

Debbie appreciated the Guru’s swift response, so followed up:

Hi – Thanks so much for responding so quickly!  You’ve reassured me that I’m doing the right thing.

So just one more question please, for after it’s sorted out:  I know that my posture is poor and all my adult life have been tight across the shoulders, neck, upper back.  Do you think that at the age of 60 it is possible, with the help of physio, to sort this out so that I don’t have ongoing problems in the future?  Or have I left it too late?

With many many thanks

The Guru replied:

Hi Debbie

It’s never too late to do anything – you may not be able to change your posture, as you’ve had this for years and years but what you can do is get better control of your posture and you can prevent your posture from getting worse (whatever that is!)

Pilates is a great way to help achieve this – good teacher, right idea, willing patient and off you go!

Whether or not your frozen shoulder comes back is up to the gods – but statistically it rarely again occurs on the same side.

The Guru

Guru Responded

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