Frozen Shoulder Pain Treatment

Written by Dr. Steve Chaney on . Posted in Shoulder Joint Pain, Shoulder Pain

Regain Your Full Range Of Motion

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT – The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney


frozen shoulder pain treatmentRecently I’ve had a client coming to me for frozen shoulder pain treatment.  “Mary” is suffering from “Frozen Shoulder.”  It doesn’t sound so bad, but don’t let the simple diagnosis hide the fact that this condition causes more than just pain. Mary’s shoulder joint was so frozen that she had minimal range-of-motion in any direction, and sleeping was a nightmare!  Regardless of which way she slept – on her back or side, the ache would wake her up several times a night, often in tears from the pain.

Physical therapy wasn’t helping at all. Her frozen shoulder kept getting worse, and the only relief she had from the pain was by taking strong pain-killing drugs. The all-too-real fear of opioid addiction caused her to only take the drugs when the pain was unbearable.  She is a hairstylist so this situation was having a very negative effect on her income and future. On a more personal note, it certainly wasn’t helping her intimate relationship with her husband. She was getting frantic for a solution.

Fortunately, the client of a co-worker had come to my office when she was in pain, and she gave Mary my card.  That was the beginning of a long journey, but one that is helping her more than she’d ever imagined possible.

What Causes A Frozen Shoulder?

frozen shoulder pain causesYour shoulder has more muscle attachments than any other joint in your body. Several muscles don’t attach right into your shoulder joint, but as they pull on your arm or shoulder blade, your shoulder moves.  This is the reason that your shoulder and arm can move in so many directions.   More than 15 muscles need to all work together to enable you to have a full range-of-motion with your shoulder and arms.

Frozen shoulder is caused by several, or many, of these muscles all being held taut because of multiple spasms.  When one muscle contracts, another must lengthen to allow for the contraction.

For example, when you are swimming and the muscles of your chest are pulling your shoulders/arms forward, the muscles of your back need to lengthen. And, when you want to reach back to take a tennis swing, the muscles of your chest must lengthen.  Or, when you want to lift your arm up to reach the top of your closet, the muscles that bring your arm down must lengthen. But, when you reach down to pick something up from the floor, the muscles on top of your shoulder must lengthen.  It’s always a matter of opposing muscles both needing to do their part in order for you to move your shoulder and arm.

Frozen Shoulder Pain Treatment

frozen shoulder pain exercisesActually, there are too many treatments for me to cover in detail in this short article. If you have been receiving Health Tips from the Professor for some time, you have many of my treatments from previous blogs.

Basically, if you have stiffness in your shoulder, you need to look at the movements you can’t make. Next, think about the opposing muscle that needs to be lengthened in order to make that movement. This is the muscle that needs to be treated to start to release your frozen shoulder.

One treatment you can do is for your infraspinatus muscle. This is the muscle that pulls your arm back.

Put a ball on the belly of the muscle, which is at the center of your shoulder blade, and apply pressure. Hold the pressure for about a minute, release for 5 seconds, and repeat.  Do this several times and then stretch that muscle.

To help people eliminate pain and stretch safely, I created a program called Focus Flexibility Training. This DVD program shows you how to treat all of the muscles of your shoulder and a whole lot more.

When it comes to Frozen Shoulder pain treatment, you’ll ultimately need to treat most, if not all of your shoulder muscles.  It’s not a fast treatment, but it does work.

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly


About The Author

julie donnellyJulie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Comments (1)

  • Dylan Lee


    Thank you so much for professional sharing.We really need to know more about health issues from professional guidelines.Deeply appreciated….


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Latest Article

High Protein Diets and Weight Loss

Posted October 16, 2018 by Dr. Steve Chaney

Do High Protein Diets Reduce Fat And Preserve Muscle?

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

Healthy Diet food group, proteins, include meat (chicken or turkAre high protein diets your secret to healthy weight loss? There are lots of diets out there – high fat, low fat, Paleolithic, blood type, exotic juices, magic pills and potions. But recently, high protein diets are getting a lot of press. The word is that they preserve muscle mass and preferentially decrease fat mass.

If high protein diets actually did that, it would be huge because:

  • It’s the fat – not the pounds – that causes most of the health problems.
  • Muscle burns more calories than fat, so preserving muscle mass helps keep your metabolic rate high without dangerous herbs or stimulants – and keeping your metabolic rate high helps prevent both the plateau and yo-yo (weight regain) characteristic of so many diets.
  • When you lose fat and retain muscle you are reshaping your body – and that’s why most people are dieting to begin with.

So let’s look more carefully at the recent study that has been generating all the headlines (Pasiakos et al, The FASEB Journal, 27: 3837-3847, 2013).

The Study Design:

This was a randomized control study with 39 young (21), healthy and fit men and women who were only borderline overweight (BMI = 25). These volunteers were put on a 21 day weight loss program in which calories were reduced by 30% and exercise was increased by 10%. They were divided into 3 groups:

  • One group was assigned a diet containing the RDA for protein (about 14% of calories in this study design).
  • The second group’s diet contained 2X the RDA for protein (28% of calories)
  • The third group’s diet contained 3X the RDA for protein (42% of calories)

In the RDA protein group carbohydrate was 56% of calories, and fat was 30% of calories. In the other two groups the carbohydrate and fat content of the diets was decreased proportionally.

Feet_On_ScaleWhat Did The Study Show?

  • Weight loss (7 pounds in 21 days) was the same on all 3 diets.
  • The high protein (28% and 42%) diets caused almost 2X more fat loss (5 pounds versus 2.8 pounds) than the diet supplying the RDA amount of protein.
  • The high protein (28% and 42%) diets caused 2X less muscle loss (2.1 pounds versus 4.2 pounds) than the diet supplying the RDA amount of protein.
  • In case you didn’t notice, there was no difference in overall results between the 28% (2X the RDA) and 42% (3X the RDA) diets.

Pros And Cons Of The Study:

  • The con is fairly obvious. The participants in this study were all young, healthy and were not seriously overweight. If this were the only study of this type one might seriously question whether the results were applicable to middle aged, overweight coach potatoes. However, there have been several other studies with older, more overweight volunteers that have come to the same conclusion – namely that high protein diets preserve muscle mass and enhance fat loss.
  • The value of this study is that it defines for the first time the upper limit for how much protein is required to preserve muscle mass in a weight loss regimen. 28% of calories is sufficient, and there appear to be no benefit from increasing protein further. I would add the caveat that there are studies suggesting that protein requirements for preserving muscle mass may be greater in adults 50 and older.

The Bottom Line:

1)    Forget the high fat diets, low fat diets, pills and potions. High protein diets (~2X the RDA or 28% of calories) do appear to be the safest, most effective way to preserve muscle mass and enhance fat loss in a weight loss regimen.

2)     That’s not a lot of protein, by the way. The average American consumes almost 2X the RDA for protein on a daily basis. However, it is significantly more protein than the average American consumes when they are trying to lose weight. Salads and carrot sticks are great diet foods, but they don’t contain much protein.

3)     Higher protein intake does not appear to offer any additional benefit – at least in young adults.

4)     Not all high protein diets are created equal. What some people call high protein diets are laden with saturated fats or devoid of carbohydrate. The diet in this study, which is what I recommend, had 43% healthy carbohydrates and 30% healthy fats.

5)    These diets were designed to give 7 pounds of weight loss in 21 days – which is what the experts recommend. There are diets out there promising faster weight loss but they severely restrict calories and/or rely heavily on stimulants, they do not preserve muscle mass, and they often are not safe. In addition they are usually temporary.  I do not recommend them.

6)    This level of protein intake is safe for almost everyone. The major exception would be people with kidney disease, who should always check with their doctor before increasing protein intake. The only other caveat is that protein metabolism creates a lot of nitrogenous waste, so you should drink plenty of water to flush that waste out of your system. But, water is always a good idea.

7)     The high protein diets minimized, but did not completely prevent, muscle loss. Other studies suggest that adding the amino acid leucine to a high protein diet can give 100% retention of muscle mass in a weight loss regimen – but that’s another story for another day.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.