Frozen shoulder, my BG experience after a steroid shot


Thanks, @truenorth. It hasn’t been as hard to control my BGs as I thought it might. But I am surprised that I really did have to double my insulin consumption to do it. Although I’ve been told that various other steroid treatment forms can be much more challenging. I will count my blessings and accept this favor from Lady Luck!


I had frozen shoulder in early 1990s, while on NPH, REG. Had a single steroid injection,with no heads up about needing more insulin. At first, did not suspect the connection (to much higher BG), but then learned it was the cause.

I then had PT for several weeks. Although that was very painful, I do have most ROM (range of motion) back, and have not required any more steroid injections for shoulder.


Thanks for describing your experience. I start 2x/week physical therapy tomorrow. I’m hoping I can limit my steroid shots to one. We’ll see.


I struggled with physical therapy with my shoulder two decades ago. I am allergic to many medicines, even ice/cold causes hives, so I ended up doing acupuncture which allowed me to actually do the Exercises recommended by PT. It was much cheaper too. I went to an Acupuncturist who was on the State Board of Examiners. My shoulder injury resolved. Keeping it strong by exercising it for the rest of my life has prevented it from re-occurring. Best advice from my Sports Medicine Doctor. Do those exercises forever!


It’s good to read of another case where frozen shoulder resolved. Treatment success and uncertain outcome does concern me. I’ll just have to do the work and hope for the best. First post-steroid shot physical therapy session is today.


My frozen shoulders have all resolved in about a year to a year and a half. My problem is that I seem to get a reoccurrence every 4-5 years. I’ve gone Left-Right-Left- and am wondering if the right is starting to freeze. I fear that the current problem with the right might be rotator cuff wear-and-tear and I would actually prefer that it be frozen shoulder… I definitely agree with @Tim12 that frozen shoulder involves some sort of disease/inflammatory condition with a beginning, middle, and an end.

I’ve shared this blogpost before but you might be interested to follow some of the links. My first FS happened when I had had Type 1 for 25 years. After publishing the blogpost, I was contacted by many people who also got FS 25 years into diabetes. One of the research studies cited indicated that FS for T1’s is more related to duration of diabetes than A1c levels. In fact it indicated that T1’s with lower A1c’s were more apt to get frozen shoulder.

Whatever. I just know that a lot of us end up getting frozen shoulder.


Thanks, Laddie. I’ll go through your blog post and follow the links. I started feeling FS symptoms during my 34th year with T1D. I’ve read that more women than men are diagnosed with it. Lucky me!


Same for me, right around 25 years so far just one occurrence for me. I also had the typical eye complications at 20 years, common in the days before BG testing and MDI became popular.

Guess that makes me average.


Interesting to watch how you are using your Loop and pump to manage the cortisol induced insulin resistance. I had a frozen shoulder a few years ago after I had already sworn off of cortisone shots. I had dequervains tenosynovitis for which I received 3 cortisone shots over a year and a half. The first one had minimal effects on my blood glucose levels and lasted for about a year. The second one had stronger effects on my blood glucose levels so I did have to increase insulin doses about 150% and it lasted for about a week, although it dropped very quickly and I ended up dealing with too much insulin in my system and pretty severe hyopglycemia. I was glad it did not drop while I was sleeping because I am not sure I could have countered the hypoglycemia in time before it became critical and possibly lethal. The cortisone short also only lasted for about 6 months this time. The third cortisone shot is why I no longer take cortisone at all! First, I was concerned about taking it but was assured by my doctor it would not cause problems (I changed orthopedists after that!). Unfortunately, while it had no effect on the condition, it caused my blood glucose levels to rise so much that the insulin required to keep it under 200 rose 400%. This increased insulin resistance did not abate after a week either but continued on for nearly 3 weeks by which time I was getting up every 2 hours to an alarm to check and see what my bg was, terrified it would plummet quickly like last time. It did go down quickly when it finally started down but not immediately - it was spread over about 24 hours so I just kept eating lots of quick glucose to try and keep my bg around 100 (did not want to go low at all!) and finally got back to my normal insulin regime about 4 weeks later.

So, no more cortisone for me. I have had several bouts with stenosing tenosynovitis in my wrists and fingers and in each case I have gone straight to surgery. When I had the frozen shoulder, I was referred to physiotherapy. It took about 6 months for the shoulder to freeze up, then I started physio about a year after its advent and it took another 6 months to restore about 98% full range of motion. What was most helpful was trigger point release therapy -painful, yes, but effective.


Thanks for sharing your story, @Kathryn41. I’m now two weeks out and my insulin regimen is approximately back to the before-shot range. I am enjoying a lot of pain relief and I feel like my range of motion is already improved. I’m going to physical therapy twice per week. I promised myself that I will give this plan 100% effort.

I’ve heard and read about the “freezing, frozen, thawing” stages of frozen shoulder and I have no idea where I am on that spectrum. I’m nine months out from first symptoms.

Since I use a CGM, I feel like I can closely monitor my BGs and not get caught with plummeting hypos. The CGM has woken me up the last few nights with a 65 alarm and I treated with one glucose tablet. I need to look at my overnight basals again in order to eliminate, at least for the time-being, these lows.


I’m now two weeks out from my steroid injection. I think the BG effects are mostly gone. I did have low around 2:00 a.m. today and I need to pull my insulin profile down around midnight. My total daily dose of insulin is now back to my pre-shot range. I think the BG fight is over, now on to the long physical therapy path. The doctor says to expect a year of daily exercises.


Oh how I remember this; I’m sorry you too had to experience it.

I had to sleep in a recliner, not in bed. The pain was awful. Tears were ever present.

@Terry4 I’m so sorry you’re having to experience this. You’re doing great with it all and with keeping your bg in control!

I had to do daily at home therapy too and had go to a physical therapist three times a week for six months. The shoulder never “freed” itself. I had surgery to break the shoulder (lesions that were holding it at my side, with no range of motion); they cleaned out the lesions and some bone spurs; and, did something to help the tenosynovitis. My husband had to take me from the OR directly to physical therapist so they could manipulate it again to see how loose the shoulder was post-op (full range of motion post surgery). That week I was there every day to do the same thing. Every day I cried while they manipulated it, because every day, after I left, my body would begin to build adhesions, which the next day the therapist had to break again. The following weeks I went three times a week, for a six month period. While recovering from surgery I slept in the recliner and had a cold water system that continually iced my shoulder down that my daughter monitored for me. I never want to go through it again.

Thanks, @Daisy6 I’ll look this up if I ever have to go through it again!

I’m so glad your pain has improved and that you’re bg is coming into control too! I wasn’t as lucky; the shot had no effect on pain or movement. It could be that I didn’t go to the doctor soon enough. I injured it November through December (several years ago) and didn’t see a doctor until that February. By then, there wasn’t much movement. June I had surgery and another six months of physical therapy.

I’ve read that @Laddie too, that it is common with diabetes.

I’ve even seen frozen shoulder on some auto immune lists.

Keep working at it Terry! From what I have read, it can spontaneously free itself up - with the effort I know you’ll put into it. I’ll say some prayers for you that that happens, with little to no setbacks or pain :slight_smile:


Absolutely, the absence of it makes one moving blind


Your struggle with frozen shoulder sounds tough. I’ve had some pain with all this but, from your description, my experience was less difficult and painful. I went to physical therapy twice this week and I’m doing my daily exercises. My range of motion has almost entirely returned. I’m amazed at my progress. I feel lucky. I’m glad that I had the steroid shot and that my body responded so well.


I’m very glad for you too!


I’m now at two months post-cortisone injection. Blood glucose, after the first week or so post-injection does not appear impacted by the shot. My glucose control is just as good as before the shot.

I continue my physical therapy but have slowed to once per month supported by daily exercises. My pain is almost non-existant and my range of motion is a very high percentage of normal. My most limited remaining range of motion involves reaching my affected right arm around to my back, like to scratch. I learned from the therapist that most people have less back-scratching range with their dominant arm. I can definitely reach further behind me with my left arm.

All in all I feel lke I have made the right choice for myself getting the steroid shot. I’m hoping that my daily exercise will ease me back to normal when the effects of the shot withdraw. My physical therapist said that generally, people who respond well initially to the steroid shot tend to do better in the long run. I hope that holds true for me!


@Terry4 I’m so glad to hear things are working out for you! Great news for sure!


Sounds like you’re well on your way to that goal.

I had similar treatment over 20 years ago, and no problems since. But the PT sure was painful, but worth it.


Hi Terry4- I’m new here and just reading up on everyone’s experiences with frozen shoulder. I’m wondering how you are doing now?

I am a T1 of 37 years, female in my 40’s. I’ve read I’m the perfect candidate for FS. I’ve had it in my right side for 9 months and left for about 7, but much less severe. My mother is not diabetic and also experienced it in both shoulders at the same time. I’ve been doing PT twice per week since June. I started using CBD oil 18 days ago and have had amazing results with the daily achey, burning pain. I still have sharp, horrible pain in movements or occasionally at night. But CBD oil has lightened my pain considerably.

I wish I knew where in this cycle I am!

I hope you are feeling much better!


My frozen shoulder has completely resolved. The steroid shot I had last May was a treatment breakthrough for me. It made me feel better almost immediately. I kept up with the physical therapy exercises for a few months but stopped doing them and the good results have persisted.

I can’t imagine dealing with this in both shoulders at the same time! I hope it resolves well for you, too. Keep up with the physical therapy. It is definitely your friend to see you through to a healthy resolution. Doing nothing could lead to a situation that never resolves - something that happens in some people.

By the way, I just started using CBD oil as well. My main interest is in lowering my blood pressure. We’ll see.