A Frozen Shoulder Update

by - Monday, February 01, 2021

As we all know, patience is not one of my strongest personality traits. So when I started physical therapy for my frozen shoulder back in December, I was hoping to see some faster results. 

But more than a month and a half in, I'm still just making baby steps. 


Every article I've read about frozen shoulder pretty clearly says the condition can take 1-3 years to clear up, and my orthopedic doctor said the same thing. But he also seemed to think this could have started about two years ago when I started noticing stiffness and pain in my shoulder when I was throwing a softball. 

If he hadn't said that, I probably would have guessed this started in August. That's when I noticed the most pain and the drastic reduction in the range of motion in my arm. 

So depending how you count, I'm either about 6 months in to the 1-3 year clock or I'm like 2 years and 6 months in. 

Physical therapy is supposed to help though, and so that's what I've been focused on for now.

Because of covid-19, I started with a program focused on at-home exercises to minimize the number of times I had to go into the office. I was pretty religious about following the program my therapist gave me, doing the exercises at least once, if not twice per day. 

Despite doing what I was supposed to do, when I went back into the office last week for a follow-up appointment, my range of motion had only marginally increased. 

So my physical therapist decided we needed to take a more aggressive approach. Starting this week, I will be going in twice a week for the next three weeks for hands-on manipulation. So basically, my physical therapist will move my arm in ways that are probably too uncomfortable/painful for me to be able to do myself. 

While I'm not excited about the discomfort, I'm hopeful that this new plan will have me seeing some faster results. 

Not being able to move my arm much has been pretty limiting, both in every day life and in my workouts. 

Depending on how things go these next three weeks, I'll also be thinking about the timing of a cortisone injection. My doctor had offered me one back in December at my first appointment, but I wanted to wait and see what happened with physical therapy before getting a giant needle shoved into my shoulder. But I've heard good things from others who have had cortisone for this, and with my patience running out and my frustration with my pain and limited range of movement mounting, I'm giving that option much higher consideration than I had before. 

So that's where we are. I'm hopeful these next three weeks will help move the recovery process forward more quickly. 

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