Have you been diagnosed with a frozen shoulder or “adhesive capsulitis”? If so, and if you have had this condition for any length of time you have probably researched the web for treatment ideas, or spoken with others who have offered up their frozen shoulder remedies. Everyone who has had or know someone who has had a frozen shoulder will not be shy about giving their golden advice. It’s natural after hearing someone’s “miracle cure” to want to try such advice in hopes of finally getting some pain relief. The honest truth is that most home remedies are ineffective at best and at worst can cause more pain and stiffness. This article will discuss a few of these proclaimed remedies and attempt to separate fact from fiction. Warning: some of the remedies mention in this article may cause extreme laughter.
- Remedy No. 1: Auto part lubricant — Without mentioning by name this wonderful product that begins with a “W” and ends in a number, it is a widely used home remedy in the south for curing a frozen shoulder (and many other joint maladies). How do I know? I hear this from my patients in the clinic. “Just spray a little on your shoulder and it will loosen it up” is often what I hear. Now I often will not argue the point that no such product can actually penetrate to the joint and loosen it up because typically the person giving the remedy has tried it multiple times and swears by it’s effectiveness. Truth is that this is mostly harmless if not used on an open wound, around the eyes, and not inhaled.
- Remedy No. 2: Place a bar of soap at the foot of the bed — This is a remedy for many ailments including gout, arthritis, and the shingles. Nevertheless I have patients who claim to have eased their shoulder pain by doing this. Forget the fact that by the time they reach me their shoulder is as tight as a banjo string and as useless as a snow machine at the north pole. I’ve even had the patient mention this remedy for growing hair on my balding head!
- Remedy No. 3: Using a hairdryer over the “frozen shoulder” — At least this one can produce a little heat, but overall ineffective in “melting” a frozen shoulder. This remedy actually took me by surprise and made me giggle when I normally keep a good poker face.
- Remedy No. 4: Taking a multi-vitamin — Many people think (and it may indeed be true) that a frozen shoulder is caused by some vitamin or mineral defficiency and by taking a multi vitamin their symptoms will eventually disappear. Usually though the conversation always ends with the patient asking me to attend the next multi-level marketing meeting taking place Thursday night at cousin Eddie’s place. If my means of living depends on pushing products that produce expensive urine I guess I would think it to be a miracle cure as well.
- Remedy No. 5: Bee stings — I actually heard this one only once, but it was so unusual that I had to research it a little. In fact their have been some anicdotle studies which looked at the effectiveness of bee sting venom but it was used to treat arthritis. Funny how the market on “bee products” became hot after a news story was featured on tv about using bee stings to treat arthritic symptoms. I’ve had a frozen shoulder before and believe me It would take more than a few news flashes before I’m seeking to invade a bee hive.
I’m sure there are many other frozen shoulder remedies worth mentioning, but these were the most humerous. The plain truth is that a frozen shoulder responds best to an organized physical therapy program designed to relieve pain and increase range of motion. Care should be taken to obtain a proper diagnosis and then seek treatment from a licensed therapist who specializes in frozen shoulder treatment.