Hi Grandma_J… I think we are talking about different things here… the pain that reduces with movement is most likely from the arthritis, and no doubt it can be extremely painful.
A “frozen shoulder” is when the whole joint capsule adheres (tendons, ligaments etc) and the shoulder will not move at all… for me there was very little pain in the shoulder itself, the pain was felt in the upper arm… I only felt it if I moved my arm in ways that had the shoulder trying to move… it is a progressive thing and took a couple of months (or so) to freeze up completely.
To start with it was noticeable when reaching upwards, then when trying to reach the back of the other shoulder, or my back (to scratch it). By the time it reached it’s maximum level I could only lift my bent arm out from my body about 15 degrees, and use my arm in a forward motion (as you would with a saw) maybe 6 inches (out from my body), and I couldn’t put the arm behind me at all, it would only go as far as my hip… if it was moved outside of it’s range of motion the pain was excruciating, to the point where I would drop to the floor grabbing my arm swearing (badly lol)… this would last about 20 seconds til it eased off and then I was back to barely noticing it. And it would wake me a few a times a night, as you don’t consciously protect things when asleep so would move the wrong way and it would set the pain off.
It all started about October last year, it was December when I saw a doc about it, and now it is almost back to full range of motion (can only get my hand to waist level when putting across my back though) and there is no noticeable pain with it now.
Although specific exercises are the recommended treatment for frozen shoulder, the rheumy I saw in March (the shoulder was really bad at the time) said that no amount of exercise would fix it, it would just sort itself out in it’s own sweet time, which is what happened, although I did keep using it as much as possible within it’s range of motion.
As I understand it “frozen shoulder” (adhesive capsulitis) is a specific diagnosis and is fairly common once over 40, sometimes it can come from not moving the arm enough (after a stroke or surgery), sometimes from over use, or arthritis, or it can just happen with no reason.
It seems the average time for it to resolve is around the 3 year mark… so I was very lucky that mine was only an issue for a little over a year (the 2 cortisone shots I had in it might have helped reduce the duration too).
I was curious as to whether or not this might be more common in PsA people, or not.
I do still get the arthritis pain in both shoulders, and elbows, etc, etc, etc… fortunately, for me, the pain I get from the arthritis is mostly mild (possibly due to meds), and I have very little stiffness from it too (except in ankles and hips).