Do’s and Don’ts of Frozen Shoulder

If you have frozen shoulder, your physiotherapist will share some very important “do’s” and “don’ts” to ensure a complete recovery. 

A diagnosis of frozen shoulder is daunting. This painful condition progressively disables upper body mobility. Daily activities become onerous. You want to heal. The advice of professionals is vital to your health.

Follow the do’s and don’ts to ensure a full recovery.

“The course of frozen shoulder can run from one to three years.” You are in constant pain.  How will you manage? 

The do’s and don’ts of frozen shoulder will help to fortify your success. 

These healing tools include:  early intervention, exercise,  positive mind set, pain management and support, sleep, patience, nutrition, gratitude and resilience. 

Armed with these amazing techniques, you can’t help but succeed.  

Today you can’t reach the top shelf in your kitchen!

It is time to learn all you can about the do’s and don’ts of frozen shoulder.

You make an appointment with your doctor.  He confirms a diagnosis of frozen shoulder and refers you for physiotherapy. 

What now?

Do stay active with frozen shoulder. The exercise has physical and mental health benefits.

16 Do’s and Don’ts of Frozen Shoulder

Early Intervention and Exercise

DON’T wait until you are desperate for help. Frozen shoulder can affect your professional and personal life. Make an appointment to see your doctor. Early intervention is key to a successful recovery. I waited too long. I thought I had pulled a muscle.

DO listen to the professionals. Physiotherapy treatments, guidelines and support are paramount for recovery.  Attend appointments on a regular basis, and commit to performing exercises and stretches as directed. I was diligent. I attended as many sessions as possible. The treatment was invaluable. 

DON’T over do it. A prognosis of a one to three year recovery time is discouraging. It is human nature to want to speed up healing by doing too much too soon. Listen to your physiotherapist. I was frustrated and ended up hurting myself. Heed the advice of professionals. 

DO keep active. Don’t let the pain of frozen shoulder discourage you from moving. The discomfort can be excruciating. However, restricting mobility will increase stiffness, recovery time, and amplify pain. Make it a daily practice to keep active. I made a commitment to walk at least ten minutes a day.minutes. This simple activity was a life saver. It improved my mood, pain and sleep. 

Positive Attitude and Pain Management

DON’T blame yourself.  Frozen shoulder is not your fault. Millions of people are diagnosed every year. Sometimes there are pre-existing health conditions, often there are not. It affects more women than men, and generally individuals between forty and sixty. I berated myself for ignoring the pain. This didn’t help. 

DO nurture a positive mindset. With hard work, a positive attitude, and perseverance, the majority of individuals with frozen shoulder will recover. Re-frame. Make it a habit to turn negative thoughts into positive. I learned this technique has tremendous healing power. 

“You either get better or bitter. It’s that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you.

Josh Shipp

Don't be a hero if you have frozen shoulder. Seek support and guidance.

DON’T be a hero. Seek support, guidance, treatment and pain management. Confide in friends, family members and medical professionals.  You don’t have to go this alone. I started journaling. Recording my thoughts and feelings reduced my anxiety. Give it a try.

DO take advantage of suggestions for pain control. Ice packs help to reduce inflammation while hot packs promote circulation. Over-the-counter medications also help to reduce inflammation, pain and promote mobility.  When you lessen pain, you provide your brain and body with a much needed break. Take advantage of available medication. Ibuprofen “took the edge off” and helped me sleep. 

Sleep and Patience

DON’T put pressure on your arm while sleeping. This leads to compression, inflammation and pain. I placed cushions on either side of my body to keep from rolling onto my painful shoulder. 

DO try to sleep on your back. This will reduce pain and assist with a restful night of sleep. Try the side pillows. 

DON’T expect a speedy recovery. This is unrealistic and will breed frustration. A frozen shoulder can take many months to years to fully heal. Practice patience. This was a hard one for me. I was so tired of the discomfort and restrictions. 

DO take the time to learn about frozen shoulder. Knowledge is power. I read a lot of material about frozen shoulder. 

The Two Most Powerful Warriors Are Patience And Time

Leo Tolstoy

Nutrition and Gratitude

DON’T forget about good nutrition. I was exhausted and in pain. I craved carbohydrates and sugar. 

DO make it a practice to reduce sugar and refined carbohydrates, and increase fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats and legumes. I substituted lemon water for soda, fresh fruit for sweet dessert, and occasionally, fish for red meat. I felt better and lost some weight. 

DON’T obsess about the negative. Count your blessings and express gratitude. Gratitude is a tremendously healing emotion. The practice of gratitude increases the feel good chemical dopamine. The more gratitude, the more dopamine. I was so thankful for the support I received.

DO remain optimistic about your recovery. Most people who have experienced frozen shoulder regain full mobility. Believe you will heal. I did. You will too!


DO remember and DON’T forget:

On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from having navigated through it.  Raise your sail and begin.

Gregory S. Williams


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