Frozen shoulder!

Seriously, I can't stand it anymore- Frozen right side 2 years of pain, 2 pointless surgeries, and tons of PT. It is starting to recover now. Left shoulder has been freezing and right now feels like an iceberg of pain. I can barely move arm, and getting dressed is nearly impossible without help. Heat, ice, TENS machine - keep me from gnawing off arm. Doctor sort of wrote me off with "It is your diabetes that is causing this-" and then I felt like it was my own fault and now I just suffer and go to PT- I need something for pain......Celebrex, barely touches it, and Nuerontin on top of that just feels like baby asprin- What do people do for the pain?

I had a mild case of frozen shoulder in both arms. I couldn't tuck my shirt in, in the back. I didn't have that much pain though. I did find relief and increased range of movement by seeing an accupuncture/accupressurist who applied heat (never ice for frozen should I discovered) and manipulated the arms. The treatments really hurt (much more than my arms did) but it worked and I now have normal range of motion.


Hi Martha...I empathise! I've had frozen shoulder on my left side for 4 years now...slowly resolving. And my left one has been frozen for 2.5 years. I noticed my pain flare up significantly when I was under stress/distress, eg. my dad in hospital after a major stroke, the both the deaths of my grandmother and a guy I had been dating. My GP presribed valium and pain relief (codeine-based), but it sedated me so much, that I tended to live through the pain rather than take the meds. But the pain was like shattering glass through the joints, arms and neck. I had MFR, Bowen, acupuncture, physio and corticosteroid treatments, and was also told it's a common complication with diabetes, taking time to heal. Am happy with the function I seem to be getting back into my left arm...perhaps another 1.5 years to go with the right one? only concern is that I've got a similar issue happening in my hips now...

I was referred to a pain management clinic at one stage, but the wait-list was so long that my referral expired before I was ever seen. I found that there are "painful" stages in frozen shoulder. There are also phases were movement is restricted but without pain. I don't know if others have found this to be true??

oops, *right shoulder - 2.5yrs

Thank you for sharing your story, it made me realize I'm not insane or alone in this!

Hi all,

I was diagnosed today with artheritis and frozen shoulder in my right shoulder. I was told that diabetics experienced this 30% more often. I am going to a specialist in sports orthopeadics and was given a cortizone shot and told to try therapy. He does not want me to go through surgery because of my diabetes. I have been type 1 for 43 years and have had problem with my right shoulder for the past 2 plus years. I hgope this therapy works, because I really don't want surgery.

Hi Everyone,

I was diagnosed with frozen shoulder about a year ago, and have been a T1 diabetic for 36 years.  I went to physical therapy for about five months, and had a cortisone shot, but I still do not have full range of motion on my left side, and have pain when I move my arm a certain way, or lay on my left side for too long (plus now it feels like it is starting up on my right side).  What works best for me is doing the exercises I learned in physical therapy at least once a day.    

Hang in there Martha - you are definitely not insane or alone!


Finally someone who has the same pain and frustration as I have regarding frozen shoulder.  I first got frozen shoulder in 2007 and have had 2 surgeries, years of PT, and countless tears about my inability to work and somewhat function.  I actually started visiting a doctor of Integrative Medicine and accupuncture.  Other than my insurance company not paying for the visits they both worked the best for me.  They both made my life somewhat bearable.  I also have to be honest and tell you that I have had to use pain medication.  The meds are the only thing that helps relieve my pain between visits.  

I have had bilateral frozen shoulders since 1996 and went through years of PT and medications, etc.  It never resolved and I am stuck with the limitations.  I was told not to have the surgery because it was not recommended in people with diabetes and would just probably scar down and make things worse.  After about 5 years it did improve a little and I don't need anything for pain since then.  I still get stuck in my clothes sometimes and have developed muscle spasms from straining my back trying to reach and dress, etc trying to overcompensate for the limited range of motion but you just learn to contort your body into all kind of movements or just quit doing a lot of things you use to do. Wish I could be a little more encouraging but hopefully you will have a better time of it than I have.  I wish I could afford the accupuncture because I think it may have been better if I could have done it early on but now I think the results would not be favorable because it has been so long and the muscles have changed along with everything else and I am 14 years older than I was when it started.  Keep up the exercises and stretches because that really helped even though it was excruciating.

I am a sufferer of a frozen shoulder.  I have had this painful problem for over 7 seven years and I have tried everything from pain meds which I used between my accupuncture which works great.  I like Martha have tried tens to gnawing off that arm.  I will keep you in my prayers.  Try acupuncture.  It works but not covered by health insurance.

I probably posted about this somewhere else ... so I apologize ... but I too have have FS for 4 years - no surgery.  The First 2 years with lots of PT and shots (in the shoulders) was of minimal help.  Oh, yes, both shoulders at the same time.  I could NOT sleep unless I slept in a chair and if i did sleep in bed I had to prop myself up so I would not roll on my side -OUCH!  The doctors, MRI's, etc. said they don't know why, but let's blame it on diabetes ... my endo says not true --- I really could care less EXCEPT that I was in CONSTANT pain.  The ortho's had no intention to treat pain ... just cutting with the ASSURANCE that cutting would form more scar tissue and pain -- and we'd do it twice -- so if one came out ok - the other was a new story.  I said, "thanks, but NO THANKS."  The pain persisted until I sought a pain medicine doctor ..  I was unable to work being in constant pain all day -- even though I was stretching daily and spending most of my day working on my shoulders.  Strong, scary pain meds worked.  Ultram, Oxycodone, and a low dose of methadone for about a year gave me great relief, but it also had it's affect too. After a bout a year I could NOT continue taking the meds -- the long term prognosis for this type of treatment seemed deadly.  But I was able to function with limited pain and still limited range of motion (I was still have to put my belt ON my pants before i put them on, and had to buy larger shirts so I could have enough room to wriggle my arms into the sleeves.

I continued on Ultram up to about March of this year.  I purchased a new mattress (memory foam style) and have been able to sleep at nigh and the pain is low, but ROM is low.  I started back at PT (with acupuncture [something I have NEVER DONE and quite skeptical about, but .... it's covered .. who knows??]) again about 4 weeks ago (3 days a week) and am seeing better range and while somewhat painful, it's the good kind. My goal is 30-40 visits unless I sense pain again.  I can live with the limited ROM, but NOT with chronic pain!  

I don't know why it happened or if it will ever get better.  I do believe that I will always have a ROM issue, but just like having diabetes, it's one more thing to manage.

I can't get over how much pain people are in with frozen joints. I wish you all the best with it. I am actually relieved to know I am not the only one that is going through this.  I am getting minimal relief on the right side with never ending PT for the past two years. The left just will not cooperate at all. I am sick of asking for help getting dressed and undressed. In a moment of "I've had all I can take!" I recently cut a shirt and bra off myself  with scissors up the front, because I couldn't take the feeling of being helpless and trapped in these clothes until my boyfriend came home, and the strap was killing my shoulder........I will never again by anything that zips in the back. I also have given up on all shelves in my house, they are all too damn high.  I would like a new fridge with remote control shelves, because I really can't reach in with the damn shoulders. I need a one handed way to drive my car, because trying to turn the wheel with both hands backing out of a space is just ridiculously painful. Other complaints include: my cat jumps on my shoulders when I sleep, just his way of saying, "Get up and get me a snack." He has figured out it is an easy way to get me up. I cannot put on a jacket and taking it off is even more painful,and its damn cold out in New Hampshire! I bought a new sofa, and it hurts my shoulder to lay on it. Being raised a professional sofa napper, this is a major disappointment!  Basically, I am just sick it all!  Oh yeah, Happy Holidays!

Soooo... what is the answer?!?!?!  How do we get this tp heal/ go away?   am in terrible pain everyday.  I have done the cortizone shots, I have done the therapy,  and before I do surgery.. which seems to not work for anyone here... What is the answer?!?!!  I refuse to believe that this is something that we just have to live with... I have even tried 5 different arthritis medications both pills and injectables.   I cant sleep, taking a shower and trying to wash my hair becomes a painful experience,  getting dressed is a chore and trying to lift anything is impossible.  Has ANYONE had Frozen shoulder and diabetes that has gotten over it?  And what exactly is it that makes us diabetics more prone to getting it?  Can anyone enlighten me???

Martha, I know how you feel ... like I said, it's going on 4 years for me ... and only now do I feel any relief.  Don't give up!  I know I did several times and that's when NOBODY cares!  That's when you go to the DR. and they just say ... UH?  Nothing I can do ... While I do not advocate pain meds for long term use, you may find it of use to find a person who will work with you so you do know live in daily pain.  OTC pain meds are not strong enough ... for me when my daily pain was a 7 or 8 out of 10.  You may have your vitamin D levels checked as well as your cortisol  levels .. they have linked, for some, low D and/or high cortisol  (increased stress levels) can play a role in pain.  They are also using Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) like  Cymbalta that may help if you don't like pain meds.  I do take Glucosamine and Chondroitin daily and i don't know if it helps, but I don't think it has hurt.

Happy Holidays!  Think outside the box you've been put into.

Hello everyone. I do not have FS problem, and wasn’t sure what it was, so I aske my husband, who is pain management doctor. Right away he said that the only thing that works is manipulation under anesthesia. Did anyone of you have it done? He said its covered by most insurances, in cases were PT didn’t work. Does any of you live in NY, NJ area? I can give you my home number or his office number. If you are interested, please call. My husband is a

very nice guy, and he would definitely love to help you. I am diabetic, our 9 yo daughter is diabetic too, so my husband knows what we are going through.

Yael, I do not agree that manipulation under anesthesia is the best or only thing.  It is what is suggested, but no way to guarantee a positive result, and can actually break your  humerus bone.  Generally, they say this problem is self-resolving, but for some it is not.  I know for me that healing is a long process, and tearing the scar tissue would  leave more scar tissue and the possibility of less ROM.  At least for me.

My MDs told me not to do it because in people with diabetes it usually makes things worse rather than better and causes more scar tissue which limits motion even more along with more pain so I just learned to live with it.

I guess it's not for eveybody. Many people, many opinions. Just thought I could help!

I've had both shoulders freeze and for the first it loosened on it's own... but it took 24+ months.  I tried physical therapy but that made it much worse.  A cortisone shot helped, but then, of course, messed up my blood glucose.   For the other shoulder (my right) I ended up choosing to do the manipulation under anesthesia because 1) it was diagnosed much sooner 2) I was hoping for a shorter recovery time.  The manipulation with intense physical therapy after (daily for a week, then three times a week for several weeks and then twice for several weeks) kept it moving and I was able to sleep through the night almost immediately.    

I also saw an orthopedic surgeon for both of my shoulders, not a general practitioner - although my nurse practitioner was the one who diagnosed the first frozen shoulder and referred me to the orthopedic specialist.  

I agree is it different for everyone... and I'm happy with the choice I made for my 2nd shoulder, but it's not for everyone.