Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Frozen Shoulder Treatment

If you've read my other frozen shoulder articles or visited my frozen shoulder website (details below) then you now know a great deal about frozen shoulder and about the options for frozen shoulder treatment.
I'm sure that the knowledge you've gained is already helping you to cope with your frozen shoulder symptoms and I truly hope that you've found a doctor or therapist who has helped you find some pain relief.
But what if you haven't - or if you've gained only partial relief from your frozen shoulder treatment? What follows are my top tips for surviving with your shoulder symptoms until nature works her magic. Remember - stay positive - you will get through this and you will soon return to full normal function without pain or discomfort.
First tip for frozen shoulder treatment: Keep your shoulder warm!
I know that it almost sounds too obvious but it works! Use warm or hot compresses (or buy a heating pad) and use it over your shoulder four or five times a day for fifteen minutes at a time. It also works well applied in your armpit - the warmth travels up into the shoulder.
Many of my frozen shoulder patients have also found great relief - particularly at night - by using a heated pad or thermal blanket. There are a variety of moderately sophisticated products available, and a range of other inexpensive options, some of which you simply heat in the microwave before use. You can find details of these products on the website links below.
Second tip for frozen shoulder treatment: Sleep with an extra pillow!
No - not a pillow for your head, but a pillow under your shoulder on the affected side. Loss of sleep at night makes it much harder to cope with shoulder pain during the day and if you roll onto the painful shoulder when asleep you will wake up in pain. Sleep on your back with the extra pillow under your sore shoulder.
Frozen shoulder treatment tip number three: Massage helps your shoulder pain!
The pain of frozen shoulder comes from the joint but the surrounding muscles can become very tired and tense. Massage can produce good short-term relief of pain. A family member, a friend or professional masseur could help with this. As with heated pads, there are a number of self massaging devices available and you can find more details on my website by following the links below.
Fourth tip for frozen shoulder treatment: Try dietary supplements!
Natural products like glucosamine or fish oils have been shown to ease joint pains and stiffness. Some herbal remedies have pain-relieving properties. This does not work for everyone but might be worth a try for your frozen shoulder pain.
I've had particular success recently with products based on honeybee venom. The use of honeybee venom is based on the long-known fact that bee keepers (who often get stung) very rarely develop arthritis or problems with their joints and muscles.
Now - the braver amongst you (not including me I hasten to add) might volunteer for traditional "bee sting therapy" where you are subjected to repeated stings from a succession of bees held in tweezers!
Most of us would feel more comfortable simply applying the bee sting venom in the form of a balm to be rubbed into the painful or stiff area. In truth, I was a bit sceptical about all of this at first, but a large number of my patients have had great benefit from its use and I recommend you give it a try if you are interested. It's certainly a very natural way to obtain pain relief.
Fifth tip for frozen shoulder treatment: Buy or borrow a TENS machine!
TENS - or trans cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a good and safe way to induce pain relief and some muscle relaxation. It works by stimulating the skin nerves and thus encourages the brain to pay less attention to the incoming pain signals from the joint. It doesn't seem to work for everyone but may be well worth a try.
Frozen shoulder treatment tip number six: Strap or support the arm from time to time!
If your shoulder is in the frozen stage then support from a simple strap can be of great value. Be careful of strapping too much in the other phases of the condition. You may simply encourage the shoulder to stay stiff for longer. As before, the website links below give details of strapping and support products.
Final tip for frozen shoulder treatment: Consider short term medication to improve sleep
People are naturally concerned about becoming dependent on sleeping medication - justifiably so. But for short term use there is no risk of dependency or addiction. Consider asking your doctor for a sedative medication if your frozen shoulder is stopping you from sleeping.