Frozen Shoulder Second Time Around

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Hello everyone. I am so thankful to have found this forum. I am suffering from frozen shoulder for the second time. The first time it occurred in my left shoulder, which is my non-dominant side. Now two years later, I have it in the right shoulder which is my dominant side. My orthopedic doctor has said that it is very rare to experience frozen shoulder two times. When I went to him with the right shoulder, he did not think it could be frozen shoulder again. I am now one week away from my follow-up visit with him, and I have no doubt that it is indeed frozen shoulder again. I am so frustrated with This painful disorder and I would love to hear from any of you who have had to deal with this more than once. It is so helpful to have the thoughts and opinions from others who have been through the same painful condition.

My first occurrence started just before I turn 50. Now the second occurrence happens just after I turned 52. I'm wondering if most of you are male or female and at what age did you start experiencing these problems. I have had no previous injuries nor am I a diabetic . I cannot understand why this condition is recovering again when I have no predisposition towards it that I am aware of.

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64 Replies

  • Edited

    Hi Thomkat

    So interesting to read your story as I am in exactly the same situation!

    I got my first FS at age 48 in my non-dominant left shoulder and have now got it for 2nd time, but on the right side. Both my specialist and I immediately agreed that it was FS, again!  The symptoms are so specific we just knew immediately. I am a male.

    The second one started about 4 months before my 53rd birthday. I am now about 8 months into it and the intense pain has subsided. It has been a tough last few months, very tough with a lot of pain, but I am starting to see the light. The shoulder is still very stiff and solidly frozen and it will take another few months to get better.

    Nothing really helps for me. I have learnt from the first one that it heals over time, so I am being patient and it works. I had to take a lot of painkillers and sleeping pills but have now stopped as it is no longer needed.

    I just wanted to share my experience with you.  I feel that I am somewhat if an expert by now!

    Wishing you all the best with your recovery.



    • Posted

      Hello, thank you for sharing your story.  My non-dominant left shoulder is experiencing muscle spasms in the muscles on the upper back (particularly the lattisimus Dorsi) and the lower chest (pec minor and lower pec major fibers).  I don’t have much pain, but it has been five months now and the muscle spasms or tightness will not stop.

      From your experience, does this sound like Frozen Shoulder?

  • Posted

    Same thing happened to me. I will tell you I had all the symptoms of hypothyroidism but had not yet been diagnosed or treated.  Many people seem to have a similar experience or some other form of autoimmune disease. Does this mean it is autoimmune also?  Good luck to you. ,
  • Posted

    I forgot to mention that I am not a diabetic and do not have any thyroid issues. I got tested for both to try and find out why the 2nd frozen shoulder. I do have a neck injury from many years ago when I decided that it was not serious enough to have an operation for it. I am guessing that my FS may have something to do with the neck injury but am not sure. For what it's worth, I have suffered from migraine for many years but it disappeared over the years. Could never figure out why I got them and why it went away. All the best.
    • Posted

      Very interesting point about the migraines ... I was plagued with migraines for about 5 years in my early 40's. They came out of nowhere. My doctor finally decided it was an estrogen issue and I went on HRT for a couple of years. Ultimately I came off the HRT and they have never recurred. I think the mysteries of the body can be fascinating .... I just wish they didn't have to be so painful sometimes though 😊
  • Posted

    I am a male, 50, type 1 diabetic since 1979, and am going through round 2 with frozen shoulder. The first round was in my dominant left side about 5 years ago. It took 3 years to get over that. Now it's been in my right side for about 10 months. The only benefit of going through it again is knowing exactly what's going on and what to expect. I actually had nocturnal panic attacks with the first go round, but I've been able to avoid these this time, at least so far. I have found that time is pretty much the only thing that is going beat this thing, eventually. I also believe it may, like type 1 diabetes, be some kind of auto-immune condition, so no more flu shots in the shoulder for me. I can't express enough how much this condition sucks, so I won't even try. I can just relate to everything people are posting here.
  • Posted

    Thanks to each of you for all the replies! It really does help to hear the experiences of others who are dealing with this painful, debilitating and frustrating condition.

    The autoimmune connection is interesting to me. I was diagnosed with dysautonomia back in the year 2000. It makes me wonder if there is some sort of connection. I am told that many times people with dysautonomia also have thyroid conditions. I have been tested for thyroid disorders several times, but the tests always come back as normal. I'm thinking perhaps I should be tested again. I am fairly sure that I do not have diabetes, because I have had a recent blood sugar evaluation.

    And I agree with some of your other post, in saying that the second time around isn't quite as scary as the first time, since we do you know what is happening to us. I had a M you a procedure the first time and this time I am not sure if I will do that again or if I will choose to let it run its course. However I have only been dealing with it now since around January, so if I choose not to do the MUA, I know that the road to recovery will be very long. This painful, freezing stage is definitely the worst. I am awakened multiple times each night. The pain medication does help the pain, but it keeps me awake. So the choice seems to be whether to be awake and in pain or awake and not in pain but either way I am awake and not getting much sleep.

    • Posted

      Hey ThOmkat, you are the first person I have run into that has the same problem with the pain meds keeping you awake. Me too !!

      I don't know where you are located but here in the USA they are having a huge crack down on prescription pain meds. So it's kind of a no win situation. You need the pain meds but the side effects are not great and there is no telling when the docs may reduce or pull the prescription.

      So how do we make the choice to go non surgery when we cannot effectively treat the pain during the extended period of time ?

      Don't mean to be so negative , just so frustrating .....

  • Edited

    I just wanted to say one quick thing. You mentioned that your doctor said it is extremely rare for frozen shoulder to reoccur. That is only partially true. It is actually VERY common to reoccur, but only in the opposite side. It is extremely rare for recurrence in the same shoulder. I was actually told to expect it again in the opposite shoulder as my left one was nearly healed. There are two types of frozen shoulder. One is caused by trauma, post surgery and prolonged inactivity. This kind would be more unusual for any reoccurrence. The other kind is far less understood, far more painful and takes longer to get over. This is our kind and we, for whatever reason, are extremely prone to it. As I stated before, I'd bet the house it's some kind of hormonal and/or auto-immune response causing the problem. Once we're done with round 2 of this crap though, we should be home free. Can't wait!
    • Posted

      Midonda - That's very interesting to hear that your doctor actually told you to expect it. That really reassures me because I started to worry about other underlying conditions ... Reading too much on the internet planted too many concerns in my mind.

      And it would be great to know that when we get through it this time, we will be free of it for good (hopefully)!!

    • Posted

      Was diagnosed this week with a Frozen shoulder in my left arm. I had a FS in this arm in 2010 and a right FS in 2017. I have Bullous Pemphigoid (autoimmune skin blistering disease) which has been in remission since a major flare while I was suffering with the right FS. I was on 80 mg of prednisone to get the BP under control which I believe helped cure the right FS at the time. BP is another nightmare. Said to the orthopedic doctor that I didn't think you could get a FS in the same arm twice and he said it is possible. Very upsetting.

  • Posted


    I realize this is an old thread, and I am hoping that you are at the end of your second FS.  Also hoping you can post your experience and compare the 2nd FS to the first, because your situation is a lot like mine.  I had my first FS just before my 50th birthday and it took almost a year to resolve -- It was in my dominate, right shoulder.  I was fine for about a year and now my left shoulder is beginning the same process as I approach my 52nd birthday.  

    For the first frozen shoulder, I went to the orthopedic doctor, chiropractor and physical therapist.  I was scheduled for surgery, but the shoulder began to unfreeze so I didn't have the procedure and my right arm is working at 100% again.  I just had to wait it out.  

    I went to the orthopedic doctor for the left shoulder and he confirmed that it is FS.  He said that it's a 50-50 chance of getting FS in the other shoulder, but rare to get it in the same shoulder.  I agree with you that it is frustrating and painful to go through this whole process again.   I don't think I am going to go to the chiropractor or PT for this one because I don't think I received much benefit from those treatments. Did you try either of these treatments?

    I take Tramadol at night when the pain is bad and it helps enough so I can sleep -- I am in the US so I can't get anything stronger.  I also have begun getting weekly massages and that does seem to help more than PT or the chiropractor.

    My demographics are:  female, non-diabetic, in good health, going through menopause.  I was tested for auto-immune disorders and thyroid problems, but the tests didn't show either issue.  

    Just a note -- My son-in-law is in school for accupuncture and he told me that in Japan they call FS -- "Middle age womens' disease" -- loosely translated.  He feels there is a menopause connection.  I know that doesn't exactly fit the males going through this at 50, but there is most likely a hormone imbalance for males too at 50.  He says there are accupuncture points that would help the FS, but I am not in enough pain to try it yet smile

  • Posted

    Hi Th0mkat

    I have had frozen shoulder in both shoulders, It started when i was approx 45 years old and a year later happened to my other shoulder, i was not and still not diabetic or had any issues with my health, i was quite active and trained twice a week for football, it just happened - weird. Anyway it is now 7 years on and i still dont have approx 50% mobility in either shoulder, its a pain but i can still play football and exercise twice a week in a gym without any issues, so there is light at end of tunnell

    Good luck

  • Posted

    Good evening everyone,

    I just found this forum and thought I would contribute my story. When I was in the Army I received an injury from a bad landing from a parachute jump. The injury was a torn ligament in my neck but a couple months later my shoulder became very painful and after a few more months completely froze. I did physical therapy for nearly two years and I now have about 70 percent ROM. I was 39 when that happened. Now I am retired and 46 and my opposite shoulder is in the freezing stage. This time there is no injury for me to connect it to. I am still very active and work as an aircraft mechanic so it is not related to inactivity. I am not a diabetic, no thyroid issues, no heart problems or autoimmune diseases that I am aware of. Of course the VA system will take long enough for the shoulder to completely freeze before getting any treatment such as steroid injections. Thanks for your posts. They were interesting to read and informative.

    • Posted

      A portable tens unit will be a great relief while you wait.  If you are in spasm or have trigger points, a theracane will help. There are trigger point guides and accompanying stretches when you are up to it on line. Good luck on a quick recovery. 
    • Posted

      Thanks terry74787,

      I have a tens but not a theracane. I will look into that. Much appreciated.

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