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What I Wish I Knew About Frozen Shoulder - Tips and Resources for Perimenopausal Women

Blog post: Frozen Shoulder, Perimenopause

what I wish I knew about frozen shoulder in women in perimenopause (woman in pain)

What I wish I had known BEFORE I got frozen shoulder!

I had adhesive capsulitis - or “frozen shoulder” for 11 months last year. Prior to that, I had never even heard of it - and I’ve been studying women’s wellness for 10+ years as a layperson, a women's wellness podcaster, and as a triathlete who is trying to stay in shape (must less stay MOVING!).

Don't know what frozen shoulder is? Read this.

Anyone who has had this painful and frustrating condition can tell you - it SUCKS. It’s also MUCH more common than you might think in perimenopausal women. Why? Did you know that as our estrogen declines, we are more prone to musculoskeletal injury?± So why didn’t anyone tell us about this?

I’ve had so many people ask me about the resources that I found useful when I was going through frozen shoulder, that I thought it would be easier to compile them and share in perpetuity.

LET’S SPREAD THE WORD - share this with anyone you think can use it!

But, first...please note a few important things:

  • I am NOT a medical practitioner. This is not medical advice - it’s just my experience.

  • What YOU can do depends a lot on where you are in the frozen shoulder process (roughly: stiffness/pain > freeze > thaw > stiffness).

Tip: Every practitioner I saw said that I should not do anything that hurts more than a 3 out of 10 (except when actually with a therapist). That might be a good measure for you.

  • This is by NO MEANS a comprehensive list of resources, but things I wish I knew before I suffered for so long. Hopefully it gets you started in the right direction...

frozen shoulder diagram - tips for women in perimenopause
credit: Kefiwellness Centre


  • I recommend following Dr. Vonda Wright @drvondawright (orthopedic surgeon) - she has LOADS of content about F.S. on her IG page.

    • I also I interviewed her and learned a lot (see PODCASTS below)

The Kirsch Institute

II. INEXPENSIVE OPTIONS (that work for me)

PULLEY: Consider getting a cheap ($15) “over the door” pulley like this one - it keeps the arm moving and it was rewarding to see my progress in range of motion over time.


  • As you will learn if you watch Dr Kirsch’s video or read his book, simply hanging from a bar is EXTREMELY useful in preventing / healing frozen shoulder.

  • Of course, you CANNOT do this in certain stages of F.S. But if you can, grab one of these doorway pull up bars and START HANGING OUT!  

  • My experience: I could only do 10 seconds at first. Now I do longer intervals for maybe 2 mins total every single day - baby steps!

  • My right shoulder started to freeze (AGAIN) and, well, I panicked - and then resumed hanging. It is slightly stiff but NOT FROZEN. I will not let it freeze again, and supposedly I can effect this by continuing to HANG!

  • Please check out Dr Kirsch's stuff above to see why and how this works.


My arm was UNUSABLE and in a great deal of pain. When it settled down somewhat, I got back in the pool and basically just moved my body however I could. Then… I could sort of mimic swimming. Then… I could “swim” with one arm (my bad arm just kind of paddled). Then…I could gently move my bad arm. Then… I SWAM!!! Swimming definitely helped me recover faster, and it helps me now by maintaining my range of motion.

AT HOME EXERCISES: You gotta do them. Search “Frozen Shoulder Exercises” in Instagram or YouTube for practitioner help at home, e.g.:

III. PODCASTS I learn by listening (and interviewing ;-)). If that helps you, try these episodes of ON AIR WITH ELLA - and DO take a look at the show notes for each, because these are chock full of more resources, including therapies that I have tried.

on air with ella podcast for women playing on mobile

  • Listen in any app here

  • Show Notes and Additional Resources here

  • Listen in any app here

  • Show Notes and Additional Resources here

IV. SOCIAL SUPPORT GROUPS (approach with caution)

There are a number of frozen shoulder support groups in Facebook - just search "frozen shoulder."

  • This one is decent, but be careful - a lot of people give advice that they aren’t qualified to give, and other people are just plain depressing. 

  • For me, it was useful to learn about what the heck was happening and some of the therapies they discuss. 


I know this sounds trite, but if I can spare a single woman from experiencing what I did - or if I can help her heal faster by learning about new resources - then it’s TRULY worth it. If you want to chat more about this, let’s connect. Plus, I’d like to know what you think should be added to this list!

Good luck - I am so sorry you’re having this experience. If you’ve already had it once, by the way, you are susceptible to having it again, so SAVE THIS!! I will continue to update it as I learn more. 



on air with ella podcast for women - cover

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