Tens Units For Frozen Shoulder: Is It A Viable Option?

In Health by KellyLeave a Comment

Frozen shoulder syndrome is painful and a huge inconvenience for many adults. Over the years I have worked with several clients dealing with frozen shoulders and this can creep up on a person and really interfere with there lives. For many individuals if you catch it early and stay consistent with exercise’s for frozen shoulder, you should be able to reverse the symptoms.

What is frozen shoulder?

Your shoulder is comprised of three bones that form a ball-and-socket joint. They are your upper arm (humerus), shoulder bone (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle). There’s likewise tissue encompassing your shoulder joint that holds everything together. This is known as the shoulder case.

With a solidified shoulder, the case becomes so thick and tight that it’s difficult to move. Groups of scar tissue form around the joint making it difficult for your body to produce synovial fluid which is the fluid that lubricates the joint.


The principle indications of a solidified shoulder would be pain and stiffness that make it troublesome or difficult to move it.

In the event that you have a solidified shoulder, you’ll likely feel a dull or throbbing pain in one shoulder. You may likewise feel the agony in the shoulder muscles that wrap around the highest point of your arm. You may feel a similar sensation in your upper arm.

Frozen shoulder stages:

Each person is different and each case is unique, so there is no exact time frame for how long it will take for someone to regain full range of motion of there shoulder and arm. Everything depends on the person and there willingness to work towards eliminating the frozen shoulder syndrome. There are three stages you will hear a lot about, this is not an exact but it is a good point of reference:

  • Freezing, or painful stage: Pain increases gradually, making shoulder motion harder and harder. Pain tends to be worse at night. This stage can last from 6 weeks to 9 months.
  • Frozen: Pain does not worsen, and it may decrease at this stage. The shoulder remains stiff. It can last from 4 to 6 months, and movement may be restricted.
  • Thawing: Movement gets easier and may eventually return to normal. Pain may fade but occasionally recur. This takes between 6 months and 2 years.

Frozen shoulder syndrome treatments

There are several ways to treat frozen shoulder syndrome, now a days doctors are not so quick to the knife. Surgery is often and should be the last resort. Surgery for frozen shoulder or any other ailment you may be  experiencing is not a guarantee that you will be pain free afterwards. I have so many clients that experienced no change after surgery and if given a second chance they would opt for an alternative to surgery.

In my option surgery should be the furthest thing from your mind. If you want to get your shoulders back you need to start exercising them! In today’s world we sit, eat crappy food, stress out, and we don’t take notice to our bodies until there is a problem.

I have been a massage therapist for a long time and I hear the same complaints over and over again from my clients and in so many cases a little exercise, stretching and some breathing exercise could go along way.

Depending on what stage you fall into with your shoulder it is always best to talk to your doctor first.  The first things they will do is prescribe an anti-inflammatory which will help a bit with the pain. Something I tell my clients to do is alternate hot and cold and try to do some arm rotations right before bed since night time always seems to be the worst.

Then you doctor will likely prescribe physical therapy which can help a lot. One thing with physical therapy, if you do not plan on committing to the exercises recommended by your PT then I don’t recommend going. Physical Therapy is not a magic pill that you take and poof you’re all better, it requires work. You can achieve a lot, you just need to stick with it.

Exercise for frozen shoulder:

When you think of exercises for frozen shoulders don’t think to hard. The name of the game is movement. You simply need to move your arms and stretch as best as you can. Frozen shoulder symptoms treatment include stretches like this:

And  don’t be afraid to give these a try as well…

Tens unit for frozen shoulder

So we have covered several exercises for frozen should and how you can manually manipulate your shoulder yourself but if you want a little help and you are not interested in going to a expensive physical therapist week after week for several months then you may want to try a portable tens unit. 

If you are not familiar with portable tens units please refer to the above video. In a nut shell a portable tens unit  is the use of electric current produced by a device to stimulate the nerves for therapeutic purposes. The unit is usually connected to the skin using two or more tens unit pads. A typical battery-operated TENS unit is able to create  a variety of pulse patterns that will range in intensity.

Portable tens units can be used all around the body for a variety of injuries. If you choose to purchase a tens unit for at home care do not let it be a replacement for professional medical care.

When choosing a tens unit I would talk to you physical therapist about proper placement for the tens unit pads. Think of the pads like jumper cables, you want to make sure you put the positive with the positive and the negative with the negative.

The tens unit is a handy tool to keep around for sore and stiff muscles. This small devices can help break up fascia and scare tissue in just a few sessions. When your shoulder becomes completely locked and frozen a portable tens unit might just be the key to unlocking your shoulder. While under doctors supervision you could be incorporating tens unit sessions along side the stretching exercises the PT has provided for you.

If applied correctly you could have your shoulder rocking full range of motion before you know it! As always, this will take time but if you stay with it you will see results. The tens unit is a small investment but it can be applied to many other parts of the body as well and with the reusable tens unit pads you cant go wrong. Also some companies like HealthmateForever work with insurance companies to help ease the cost.

I always like to mention the tens unit pads are reusable but after time they will lose there stickiness. A higher grade portable tens unit pads will last about 100 times if applied properly (applied to clean, dry skin) but you will need to replace them eventually. The tens unit pads come in different shapes and sizes but the connection end is a universal fit so replacement pads are cheap and easy to get.

A great place I have purchased portable tens unit machines from in the past is HealthmateForever.

Healthmate has been making waves since 2008, they are one of the leading manufacturers of TENS and PMS pocket size devices. Designed, produced, and shipped right here in the US. Healthmate also offers FREE shipping for domestic orders. Healthmate  prides themselves for there customer service and that care can be seen in the many five star reviews.


Here’s to all Healthmates firsts…

  • The first company to design the digital pocket size TENS & PMS with different massage methods and battery level indicator in 2010;
  • The first company to design the pocket size TENS & PMS with backlit in the world in  2012;
  • The first one to have patent design of independent intensity control in both AB channels in the pocket size TENS & PMS units in the world in  2012;
  • The first one to design both mode and intensity selection in AB channels in the world in January in 2012;
  • The first one to design vibrating massager with remote control in 2014;
  • The first one to design Touch Screen TENS EMS unit in the world around 2014;
  • several patent and copyrights we applied are pending.My top chose as of now is the T12AB touch screen portable tens unit. If you want professional grade at a price you can afford this is it! At $250 that’sless then  3 PT visits and you have access to it anytime you need it. For a detail review of the T12AB check out that review here.

Ok folks that’s a wrap

I hope I was able to bring you new information regarding your concerns for frozen shoulder syndrome. We discusses what it is, what exercises you can do and how a portable tens unit may be the missing key to your pain management treatment.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments below.



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