7 Tips to Recover From Frozen Shoulder More Quickly

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Adhesive capsulitis, or what’s more commonly known as frozen shoulder, is a medical condition involving pain, inflammation and limited mobility of the shoulder. Consisting of ligaments, tendons and other tissue connecting the humerus bone to the scapula, the shoulder is one of the largest joints in the human body. Like all joints, however, it’s vulnerable to stress-induced injury, including frozen shoulder. If you’re suffering from this condition, you should adjust your lifestyle to minimize its adverse symptoms and recover more quickly.


#1) Limit Shoulder Movement

Because it’s classified as a repetitive stress injury (RSI), there’s no single underlying cause of frozen shoulder. Rather, any excessive, repeated movement of your shoulder joint can increase your chance of developing frozen shoulder. Until you fully recover from frozen shoulder, you should avoid overworking your shoulder. By limiting your shoulder movement, your body will heal the injured tissue more quickly, thus reducing your recovery times.


#2) Drink Water

Drinking water won’t cure your frozen shoulder, but it can ease the symptoms of this condition while expediting your recovery times in the process. Water serves several purposes in the human body, one of which is temperature regulation. When you drink water on a hot summer day, your body to sweat to release heat and cool off. But water plays another role in health and wellness: joint lubrication. The fluid found in our joints is comprised mostly of water. If you don’t drink enough water, your shoulder — or other joints in your body — will have less lubrication, which can lead to bone-on-bone contact when you move or engage it. If you’re battling frozen shoulder, drink at least 64 ounces of water daily.


#3) Eat Fish… or Take a Fish Oil Supplement

Fish is an excellent source of beneficial fatty acids, specifically omega-3s. While omega-6 fatty acids have an inflammatory effect by promoting inflammation in the body, omega-3 fatty acids have the opposite effect: they discourage and reduce inflammation in the body. Eating more fish or taking a fish oil supplement will provide your body with omega-3 fatty acids so that it can fight inflammation in your shoulder more effectively.



#4) Change Your Sleeping Position

Be conscious of your sleeping position at night. Statistics show that the average person sleeps for about one-third of his or her life. Considering the enormous amount of time you spend in the bed, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that the wrong sleeping position can contribute to or worsen the effects of frozen shoulder. Sleeping with your pillow too high, for example, will create curvature at your neck that can stress your shoulder, while sleeping on your side can stress your shoulder on that side of your body.


#5) Relax Your Body

Relaxing your body can often have a positive impact on frozen shoulder and other joint conditions. When your body is tense, your muscles won’t have the opportunity to revert back to their natural, relaxed state. Over time, chronic tension such as this can take a toll on your joints, including your shoulder. To relax your body, find a quiet area — living room, bedroom, etc. — to sit down and close your eyes. With your eyes closed, allow your muscles to relax. Now try to maintain this relaxed state throughout your daily activities.


#6) Apply Heat

Assuming you’ve had your frozen shoulder for longer than 48 hours, applying heat may ease the pain and other symptoms associated with this condition. Heat is effective at treating joint conditions as well as soft tissue injuries because it encourages circulation. If your shoulder hurts, apply a hot compress to it for about 20 minutes. Heat encourages blood flow to your shoulders, giving the ligaments, tendons and connective tissue the oxygen and nutrients they need to recover.

If you’ve had your frozen shoulder for less than 48 hours, on the other hand, it’s recommended that you apply a cold compress. Heat can actually worsen the effects of joint and soft tissue injuries during the first 48 hours by increasing inflammation. But cold minimizes both inflammation and pain, which is why you should use it instead of heat during this time.


#7) Schedule a Massage

Massage therapy isn’t just effective at relieving muscle knots and tension; it’s also effective at treating frozen shoulder. Like heat, massage therapy stimulates circulation to the area of the body being massaged. Research has even shown that massage therapy is just as effective as ibuprofen at relieving inflammation associated with frozen shoulder. When blood is forced to your shoulder, your body can repair the damaged tissue more quickly. Some types of massage are more effective at treating frozen shoulder than others, however. For the greatest benefit, choose a sports massage that involves medium, targeted pressure on your affected shoulder.


If you’re suffering from frozen shoulder, contact Atlanta Chiro and Wellness today. We offer massage therapy and other specialized wellness services to help treat frozen shoulder.

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