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Karen asked...

Frozen shoulder diagnosis

I've just been diagnosed by my GP with a frozen shoulder. The recovery time is 18 months to 3 years! Is there anything that I could do to speed up the process? She also said that it was too soon for phsyio and I maybe need to wait 3-4 months.

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The answer

It sounds as though you may be in the initial stages of frozen shoulder, this is often thought to be the most painful stage and treatment at this point is usually aimed at relieving the pain and avoiding movements that make the pain worse such as stretching.

This may be why your GP is recommending you wait a few months before starting any physiotherapy this tends to be introduced once this stage is over. Pain relief is usually treated with oral painkillers, for some people where this doesn’t prove to be effective they may be offered a steroid to injection into the joint which can be beneficial.

Once the acute stage of frozen shoulder is thought to be over Physiotherapy can then be introduced, at this point the pain will usually have lessened with stiffness being the main symptom and this is where physiotherapy can help in some cases.

The course of frozen shoulder can extend for some years but each person suffering from this will vary in terms of the duration of the condition with some recovering more quickly and others going on to need surgery if more conventional support hasn’t helped.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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