Frozen shoulder is very real and not just neurological in origin. Now it does have a complicated interaction with how we think about our and use our shoulders after it occurs. If you’ve only ever had one frozen shoulder, then you probably favor the other shoulder unconsciously even after the frozen shoulder has (largely) cleared up. For those of us who have had frozen shoulder in both shoulders (probably one after the other) the second bad shoulder sure is good motivation to start using the first shoulder more effectively. So maybe we are lucky that we are more “balanced” when we are done. Hah, the luck of having two frozen shoulders, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone!
In my case (and I think in many others cases too) it wasn’t just the shoulder joint, I also had severe tendonitis which may have been even more pain-and-jarring sensitive than the joint itself. Some folks may want to argue, did the frozen shoulder cause the tendonitis, or did the tendonitis cause the frozen shoulder. I would differ with everyone else, by saying that an overall inflammation in the area was the cause of everything! And it’s also possible that the inflammation is some sort of auto-immune thing (although I have no proof of it!).
It was interesting seeing docs while I had frozen shoulder. I could tell the good docs because they weren’t just looking at my shoulder, they were also looking at my face and my whole body as they approached my bad shoulder. They could tell that I was sort of wincing and girding myself for pain whenever they got close to my bad shoulder. I think the pain for me was more extreme than for you. In particular at its worse part of inflammation, simply any jarring motion anywhere in my body, that remotely jarred or shook that shoulder, caused excruciating pain.
As to overall therapy, I think PT has limited value while the shoulder is still “Frozen” and super duper sensitive to motion and jarring. Having gone through frozen shoulder in both shoulders, for me the big step forward was getting a steroid shot that allowed the worst most inflammatory part of the pain to go away, such that I could do the physical therapy and get benefits from it. I think the steroid shot not just reduced the pain, it actually reduced the underlying inflammation as well, and that was super important.
While I feel that PT really did help me in recovery, I think that the underlying inflammation was really the core issue. Having talked with others, they tell me that they aren’t so sure PT did anything but hurt them, that they just had to let the inflammation run its course and clear up.