Frozen Shoulder

I’ve had a frozen shoulder for about a year. For the longest time I was unable to lift my arm higher than shoulder height. I couldn’t put my coat on properly because I couldn’t bend my arm backwards enough to get it in the arm hole.

Worst of it all is that I did this to myself. Whenever you google what causes frozen shoulders, it always says that no-one knows, it just happens, and it’s mostly older women that get them. Here’s how I gave myself one.

Bench Press

I got into weight lifting. Not big time or anything, but every now and them I’d do some bench presses and I was interested to see how much weight I could go up to. This was all good but one time when lifting I felt this pain in the left biceps. Then on the next push it hurt more.

It wasn’t so bad that I had to stop.. but then over the next few days my arm was really weak. If I leaned on it it’d be painful.

Doctor Helk

This went on for a couple of months. It didn’t seem to be getting any better. I mentioned it to Helk and he said I should try a theragun on it. It was worth a try, so I ordered one and gave it a go.

Not me, but exact same biceps shape and size

I used it all over my left arm and shoulder. It didn’t feel any different. But over the next week I got a frozen shoulder. I don’t know that it was the theragun that caused it, or whether I used it wrong, but now I’m thinking that I have this frozen shoulder and whatever the original problem was.


The arm isn’t just frozen, like trying to bend you knee backwards. It also has a ton of pain when you approach and pass the thresholds. The pain lingers on for about a minute afterwards. I had a couple of events where I was in that much pain that I thought I might pass out.

I was walking up our basement stairs holding a coffee cup on my right hand, and tripped, and had to prevent a faceplant with my left hand/arm. This stretched the shit out of my shoulder, my coffee went everywhere, and it was the worst pain I’ve ever felt.

A few weeks later I was watching alex play the piano, and my chair fell backwards. I reached out with my left hand to grab something to stop my fall, but instead of arm went over the side of the piano, so I was hanging on it with my armpit. My full 200lb body weight dangling on my shoulder. The fucking pain, and I was stuck. I couldn’t lift myself up. Eventually my shoulder stretched enough to let me slide off.

Fixing a Frozen Shoulder

There’s a few ways that a frozen shoulder fixes itself. Either you do nothing and over time it gets better.

Or you do stretches and over time it gets better.

Or you go under general anesthetic and a couple of doctors bend the fuck out of your arm so it regains some of its movement, and then you do stretches and over time it gets better.

I’m luckily in the #2 category. It’s not 100% perfect, but it is definitely getting better. I’m noticing that I can do things that I wasn’t able to.. like swimming, or lifting weights. I’m guessing I’m another year until it’s a full recovery.


  1. Trundler says:

    Garry – I was glad to read this post. I have not experienced any similar issues, but now I know the perils of being a clumsy old fart. Thank you for the enlightenment.

  2. IanSource2 says:

    holy shit we can comment here now

  3. randorando says:

    My dad had this. “Calcific tendinitis” in the shoulder.

    His doctor’s only solutions were hoping it goes away and, failing that, surgery. It did not get better after a few weeks tho.

    He then consumed two teaspoons of (concentrated?) apple cider vinegar per day and it went away in another week. I’m skeptical of home remedies like that, but he swears by it. He had it in the other shoulder a year or so later. He promptly started with the vinegar and again it went away in a week-ish (so, quicker in total) so who knows, maybe I better start believing :¬)

  4. mikembley says:

    Been wanking in the car again Garry??

  5. Bryan says:

    What’s the new blog software?

  6. Nechy says:

    Damn, those rare subtle pains during workouts are no joke man. It feels extremely shitty to drop the set but it’s extremely necessary to give that muscle a good rest to prevent any injuries that could linger for a long time. Hoping for a speedy recover mate.

  7. Fa says:

    How’s the shoulder doing now? I’m on month 4 of mine. I’m about 75% recovered but still can’t really work out.

    Dead hangs are apparently helpful if you are recovered enough to at least get into position, if not do the real hang.

    One guy on reddit said he heard omega 3 helps with joints and started eating 2 tins of pink salmon per week and got better fast, I might try that one.

    1. Garry Newman says:

      It’s like 95% better now. No pain, no weakness but limited motion at some extreme angles still..

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