Magdalen Health and Wellbeing

Frozen Shoulder Treatments

February 21, 2023

Frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder treatment 

Treatment of frozen shoulder and the success rate is varied from person to person. Everyone responds slightly differently to certain approaches and intervention. 

The approaches and methods can vary from leaving it alone and it will improve eventually on its own, once it has been through the 3 stages (discussed in the previous post), all the way to surgical intervention. Below we will discuss these options;


We would recommend that you do see someone, whether it be manual therapist of a GP, just to ensure that this is frozen shoulder that you have however, there are a number of things that could help ease the discomfort. 

  • For pain relief – Over the counter medication, iberprofen and paracetamol could be a benefit. However, always reads the label, directions and chat to a pharmacist who is qualified to give you advice
  • Keep trying to use the arm to keep as much mobility as the pain levels allow. Following any advice the GP or practitioner 
  • Heat – hot water bottle, deep heat, wheat bags are always a good solution to easing discomfort. Allow for adequate periods for the joint to return to normal temperature in between reapplication. 
  • Sleeping with the arm propped up on pillows is another good trick, to avoid overstretching the capsule while asleep

Manual therapy 

As manual therapists our aim is to decrease pain and increase range of movement, all manual therapists want this outcome, we all just have different stepping stones in order to get to this goal.  We can often see you much quicker than an NHS service.

It is important to note this will not cure the frozen shoulder however, it should speed up your recovery, reduce pain levels, and move your through the 3 stages quicker than it would without intervention. 

Your therapist may give you some exercises to do to improve mobility and also may mobilise the joint with a hands on approach. This may be uncomfortable at the time but the movement shoulder increase quite quickly. The shoulder will be moved around and the muscles would be relaxed off as well during the session to allow more movement. 

Corticosteroid injection 

Your GP may recommend a steroid injection if pain levels persist and manual therapy does not help. There is more information on this on the NHS website. 


Again, you GP may recommend this if all other options have been exhausted. This is a process that involves an injection of fluid into the joint capsule guided by ultrasound or X-ray to relieve pressure and stretch the joint capsule. This is usually done under local anaesthesia so you would be awake but feel no pain.


The last resort is surgery, there are 2 types of surgery for frozen shoulder. Your orthopaedic surgeon would discuss these in more detail with you, the 2 options are;

  1. Shoulder manipulation under anaesthetic (MUA). While you’re under general anaesthesia, your surgeon forces your shoulder into movements which will stretch the tightened capsule and loosen up any scar tissues. You will be asleep during this procedure.
  2. Arthroscopic capsular release. Your surgeon uses keyhole surgery (shoulder arthroscopy)to look inside your shoulder joint, usually under general anaesthetic. They use surgical instruments to release tight parts of the capsule to loosen it.