Pain Relief From Frozen Shoulder

Updated November 21, 2016

Frozen shoulder causes the shoulder to lock up and limits shoulder joint mobility. This can be a painful and frustrating condition that may greatly impact a person's function in everyday life. It's important to find pain relief from frozen shoulder since the condition can cause even the simplest tasks to be difficult.


Physiotherapy is used the most to provide pain relief from frozen shoulder. A physical therapist will work with you to increase mobility and to build up muscle strength in the shoulder area. Part of your physiotherapy program will be to do home-exercises to further increase mobility. It's vital to do these exercises as instructed to gain the most pain relief from frozen shoulder.

Heat Applications

Heat helps to relax the muscles in your shoulder and reduce pain. You should apply a mild heat several times daily. Use a heating pad an hour before going to sleep at night. You can take a warm compress to bed with you in the evenings to place under your frozen shoulder. Never use a heating pad in bed because accidental injuries could occur if you fall asleep with one turned on. You can also put an extra pillow under your frozen shoulder at night to reduce pain in case you roll over on the shoulder.


Gently massage the frozen shoulder several times a day. You can massage after a heat application to further increase mobility and to reduce the pain. Massage the armpit area, shoulder and back area near the shoulder. Don't forget the neck area near the shoulder as well. If you're unable to do self-massage, ask a family member or friend to assist you.

Dietary Supplements

Some dietary supplements seem to help with frozen shoulder pain because they reduce inflammation and rigidity. You should ask your health care provider, who is treating your frozen shoulder, about adding fish oil and glucosamine to your diet. Find out what the recommended dosage would be for your particular case and other medical conditions.

Anit-Inflammatory Medications

Part of the pain associated with frozen shoulder is inflammation. You can take over- the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, according to the bottle labels to help reduce the swelling and reduce the pain. If the pain is very severe, the health care provider might order a prescription strength anti-inflammatory to take for pain relief.

Cortisone Shots

One way to increase mobility of a frozen shoulder is with cortisone shots. These injections are given directly into the shoulder area. Typically, there is increased pain, swelling and tenderness at the injection site for several days following the injection. Once the injection reaction has cleared up, you can find a great deal of pain relief from frozen shoulder. Injections are often administered once every three months, but your orthopaedic specialist would decide your schedule for further treatments.

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About the Author

Daniel Smith graduated from technical school in 1993 and has been writing since 2005. His has written numerous articles for the instructional website called eHow in areas including gardening, home improvement, celebrating special events and health-related topics.