April 20, 2023


man on beach grimacing because of shoulder pain

Adhesive capsulitis, also known as Frozen Shoulder, is a common condition affecting people mainly over the age of 40. The painful condition causes the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint to contract and form scar tissue, preventing the shoulder bone (Humerus) from being able to move in the socket. The shoulder appears “frozen”, which is why it is aptly called “Frozen Shoulder.”

At World Frozen Shoulder Clinics, we offer non-surgical solutions for shoulder pain. The sooner you contact one of our clinics, the quicker our seasoned professionals will assist you in obtaining long-term relief.

If you or someone you know has been suffering from Frozen Shoulder, this article will provide information on how to help alleviate the pain as quickly as possible.

Before discussing what you can do to relieve the frozen shoulder pain quickly, there are a few essential facts that you need to know about the condition.


The precise cause of Frozen Shoulder is rarely apparent. To date, there is no universally recognized cause of Frozen Shoulder. Yet, based on the last 40 years of clinical observations, it has become evident to the World Frozen Shoulder Clinic specialists that there are three common denominators in patients suffering from Frozen Shoulder:

  • Shoulder strain injury
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Nerve compression (lower neck disc pathology)

We have a sleeve-like capsule surrounding a ball and socket joint known as the Glenohumeral (shoulder) joint. The capsule allows the ball and socket joint to rotate freely. However, when Frozen Shoulder develops, the capsule compresses, thickens, inflames, and lays down scar tissue. This, in turn, means inadequate space for normal shoulder rotation, resulting in a major loss of mobility, the development of acute shoulder and arm pain, and a nearly total loss of normal shoulder function. We refer to this as the capsular component of Frozen Shoulder.

The body begins to adjust the way the joint operates after extended immobility, stress, injury, or trauma. When the shoulder joint does not function properly, the surrounding muscles seek to compensate, resulting in muscular pull pattern imbalances that further limit mobility and increase pain. Your brain’s protective mechanism is designed to limit the functioning of certain muscles in order to prevent overuse and damage. This is referred to as the muscular component of Frozen Shoulder.


Although the methods described below can alleviate the pain associated with Frozen Shoulder to a certain degree, remember that to cure the condition, you need to get to the root cause. Therefore, the capsular and muscular components must be treated after a thorough assessment.

People suffering with Frozen Shoulder often try these various options to help release the scar tissue from the capsule.

Conventional methods
These include:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Osteopathy
  • Massage therapy 
  • Acupuncture

The relief provided by these approaches is minor since they can only address the secondary muscular component. In fact, studies have shown that physical therapy can worsen the condition, so this kind of treatment is actually contraindicated. Either way, conventional methods are not dealing with the root of the problem.

Painkiller medications

Your doctor may recommend an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen. These medications should reduce the pain, allowing you to continue your daily activities. Prescription medications should always be used under the supervision of a doctor. Long-term use of painkillers can impair liver and kidney function.

Local therapy

  • Ice pack: Frozen Shoulder pain can be alleviated by applying an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas to the shoulder for 10 to 15 minutes, about four to five times per day.
  • Corticosteroid injection: If conventional approaches and painkillers fail to provide relief, your doctor may inject a corticosteroid into your shoulder or surrounding soft tissue. This may only provide temporary relief as cortisone only reduces inflammation and does not address the root of the problem.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS):

TENS entails the application of a modest electrical current to specific points along the nerve pathway responsible for frozen shoulder pain. The current is administered by small electrodes attached to the skin. The technique is generally painless and is believed to function by inhibiting the pain-causing impulses.

Invasive techniques

Most frozen shoulders resolve on their own, 90% of cases resolving within two to three years of onset Although, 10% of cases do not resolve and need to seek intervention or the joint may be frozen for life.. Sometimes, alternate options may be considered, such as:

  • Joint distension (or hydrodilatation)

The capsule is injected with a saline solution containing a corticosteroid, and the fluid is then forced into the capsule until the scar tissue ruptures. It is incredibly painful both during and after the treatment, with rehabilitation taking 6 to 9 months or longer. (Hydrodilation has a low success rate and, because it cannot target solely the offending scar tissue, it often causes joint injury.)

  • Surgery

Surgery for Frozen Shoulder is rare and is usually the last option to achieve pain relief. Surgical options include:

  • Arthroscopic surgery (arthroscopic capsular release)

Under general anesthesia, the surgeon cuts through the skin, soft tissue, scar tissue, and capsule. Unfortunately, 50% of these operations fail because the patient is bedridden for 24 to 48 hours and may not see a physiotherapist soon enough or frequently enough. This allows scar tissue or the body to redevelop the frozen shoulder. It can take 6 to 9 months or longer to heal, and it does not address the muscle component, which can also slow recovery.

  • Manipulation under anesthetic (MUA)

This procedure is done under general anesthesia. The patient’s shoulder is manipulated forcefully into all end ranges until the scar tissue rips or tears away from the bone. Since there is no preventive muscle activity or tonicity, the doctor has no idea how far to go. The shoulder joint is routinely forced into dangerously wide ranges of movement. This increases the danger of dislocation, capsular tearing, fracture, tendon tears, nerve damage, damaged blood vessels, or soft tissue trauma. MUA has been proven to have an alarming 80% risk of causing shoulder injury and is now not used in many hospitals.

MCD (OAT) Procedure

The manual capsular dissection (MCD) procedure, formerly known as the OAT procedure, is a novel non-surgical procedure created by Dr Allan Gary Oolo-Austin, a world-renowned frozen shoulder expert at the World Frozen Shoulder clinics. The method has a 98% clinical success rate in restoring range of motion and functioning to Frozen Shoulder sufferers, and it delivers rapid pain relief and a return of functional ability.

The treatment entails isolating and separating the adhesive tissue inside and outside the shoulder capsule through specific patient motions and mobilization techniques paired with mechanical pulses from proprietary devices to non-invasively dissect the scar tissue form the capsule . Unlike arthroscopic surgery, the MCD procedure is entirely non-invasive and does not require shoulder incisions. Local anesthetics and intravenous analgesics are utilized in the hospital operating room as a safer and more effective alternative to manipulation under general anesthesia. 

Dr O’s MCD Procedure is performed in one visit. Patients enter the clinic unable to move their shoulders and leave nearly wholly functional. After the MCD procedure, patients can resume these daily activities within days or, at most, weeks. The MCD procedure is the first of its kind and has been a resounding success worldwide.


If you or a loved one is suffering from the excruciating pain of a frozen shoulder, get in touch with the frozen shoulder specialists at World Frozen Shoulder Clinic. In addition to our Manual Capsular Dissection (MCD) procedure, we also offer the Shoulder Impingement Syndrome procedure, which relieves agonizing shoulder pain. Request a free consultation today.

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