Frozen Shoulder

OK.  I really could use help.  I have been dealing with frozen shoulders (bi-lateral) for about 3 years now.  I was informed that it is most likely due to having T1 as many ortho's see T1's with this condition.  Normally, it self resolves, but mine has not and am now considering surgery.  The PAIN and loss of ROM is incredible. 

Does anyone have experience with this complication?  I have read and reviewed so much, but I don't want surgery, as it is possible to have continued pain and a greater loss of motion.

Any response would be appreciated - I did about 40 sessions of PT and tried every other method of conservative treatment.


Hey Scott -   Boy do I feel your frustration.  After having surgery on my rt shoulder a little over 3 years ago due to a baseball injury and going through PT for a year,  my lft shoulder started to hurt.  I thought I selpt on it wrong - 3 different docs couldn't come up with anything and there wasn't the typical looking calcium build up in the joint to say frozen shoulder - 4th doc said frozen shoulder.  He also did something that surprised me and he had an MRI done on my neck as well as a nerve test (EMG I think it's called, will have to check that).  He did find two bulging disks with the MRI.    I've been in PT for the past year and a half working on both the shoulder and neck.    It's takes a while for us to get over it - if at all (for the shoulder).  I'm still having the pain but I can get through day to day.   The things that keep it at bay for me is stretching and movement.  I have to stretch it (painfully) a 1/2 hour or so a day - even got a chin up bar to hang from so I'd have my own weight as leverage - also use an exercise ball, on the floor to stretch the lat.  It's amazing how each muscle effects another.   The other thing that really helps was massage from the PT office.  It's not your spa feel good massage either.  I've been on the verge of tears leaving sometimes but if someone is working on your upper back/shoulder/neck for 50 min - it helps tremendously.  Finding out about the neck issue helped get me going in the right direction.  It's not back to normal, but getting there.  I'm expecting another year or so. 

I did have a cortizone shot in it (blood sugars nuts for a week) but it was great.  Didn't last long.   My doc wants me to go to a rheumatoid guy b/c evidently he works with some other non steroidal drugs he uses to help with the pain and inflamation (that don't send your bg through the roof).  I had an appointment but had to cancel.  I will go soon (hopefully) and will let you know what they are and if they work.  

Have any of your docs checked your neck to see if it exacerbates your shoulder?  Evidently its common from what they told me.  I'm holding off on that surgery for now myself.  I hear it's not something you want to go through.   Hang in there and I'll keep you up if I hear anything from this other doc I'll be going to.  Take care.


I wrecked an ATV last year and shattered my wrist, and tore the labrum in my shoulder and hip.  I was advised to have surgery on the shoulder and hip, but after three surgeries on my wrist I have not been able to bring myself to do it...  Then my insurance informed me that they would only cover twenty therapy visits per year period, regardless of circumstances.  I have been in therapy for my wrist for a year and a half now.  As a result of all this I developed frozen shoulder.  As I mentioned, I can't afford to have therapy as I am paying in ful for the wrist thereapy.  It hurts most of the time, the only thing that helps me is to get it moving multiple times per day.  If I'm dilligent about it, which is a challeng as I have a multitude of other health problems to keep up with, the paid decreases significantly; like I said I find it has to be like three times a day, EVERY day:)  I hope you get it feeling better, I know how much it stinks...

Thanks for the responses!  I did have an accident about 10 years ago - auto slammed into my parked car - and suffered tremendous pain in my neck only to find that I had herniated disks at c4 and c5.  After about 8 months of PT, pain meds, and still in much pain ... it stopped hurting.  the neuro wasn't happy, but I decided surgery not needed.  It never bothered me again.  2 recent MRI's show the disk is retracted, so there is "no relationship" to the FSS (frozen shoulder syndrome).  From what I have gathered, there is no good reason why this happens, but it happens to diabetics often, women, and people who have had upper body surgery.

So, the muscles around the shoulder form scar tissue and the shoulder becomes inflamed - so much for moving it.  Unfortunately, I think I have done all I can ... I have had 5 injections - and yes -CRAZY HIGH BG's!  They don't want to give more shots as they believe it will destroy the tissue in the shoulder.  The nerve blocks only work for about a month or two, the last one only a week.  Now I am trying to deal with the pain ... it's constant.  I can't "play with my kids very well, standing too long weighs on the shoulders and it becomes painful - so I'm off to see what pain management will do ..

I've had a couple minor surgeries in the past - I just don't think that this will turn out too well.  They plan to release the should capsule, scrape out some bone to give more room and they can't do anything for the scar tissue - so right after surgery you go into PT for 30 sessions (least I'm covered) -- but I have been warned that the surgery only gives me a chance to break the scar tissue, and if I don't plan on being super hero, the area will scar move with less motion and possibly more pain.  Then, if all is successful, shoulder #2 ... That puts me out of action for 5 months! S**t.

I don't know if this is T1 related or not  - it just could be life.  It's easy for me and my wife to blame it on T1 ...

Anyway, I lived in France so 20 years ago.  I was very please that people with "disabilities" that were not of their own doing received FREE everything.  I did not pay for meds, dr's, and I was put at the top of the list for care.  They even made house calls when I got a bad cold!  For the sake of all the people who have illnesses that create another FT job in life, it would be nice to know that you are covered for insurance.  Most of my adult life, while successful and fun, was about having insurance -

That was my rant for the moment!!


Great to see a post on this.  Just got done visiting with an Orthopedic surgeon who has indicated I'm in stage 3 of adhesive capsulitis and that the PT did not work.  I've lost a significant amount of motion and the pain is subsiding.  He also indicated that PT rarely is successful due to the pain of the sessions and poor compliance.  I'm guilty of that for sure.  He has recommended Manipulation under general anesthesia.  I've been looking at tons of literature and 1/2 says go for it and the other says it doesn't work and leads to further impediment.  I'm really struggling.  Any advice?  I've read the posts thus far and it's kind of like the literature, nothing wrong with it just difficult to decide what is best.  Thanks in advance for sharing.

OMG!  I have yet to go see an ortho, but my right shoulder has been hurting a lot the point where I can barely move it and it sometimes goes numb!  I lift a lot of heavy things for work and it's the same shoulder I dislocated when swimming competitively in high school.  Well, one night I slept on it all night long, the next morning it was aching so bad and it's been giving me grief ever since.  Then, just recently, my right shoulder started hurting too!  Both feel like they've never been used or stretched in years!  What the heck?!  I had no idea that diabetes could be causing this.  I thought it was just from the hard labor I endure at work and all the paddling I do for surfing.  Now I really need to see an ortho...but man, such bad timing as I will be out of state for the next 3 months!