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  • Writer's pictureLionel Pannunzio PT / SCS

Simple Exercises for Frozen Shoulder




In today's blog post I will touch a common problem... Frozen Shoulder .


"Frozen shoulder", also called Adhesive Capsulitis, is a painful inflammatory condition of the shoulder that leads to limited mobility of the shoulder joint in all planes of movement

The shoulder does not actually "freeze" up, but is limited by pain , muscle guarding/tightness , associated with inflammation and a thickened joint capsule (the tissue that surrounds the ball and socket of the shoulder joint) which makes any shoulder movement more difficult and painful.

Sometimes the condition starts without any injury or in response to a trauma/surgical event, where pain and inflammation limit motion for long enough for the condition to develop

The good news is that most individuals will recover just fine and regain shoulder mobility and function but it may take a long time to fully recover , between 6 months and 2 years.

Current research supports the use of stretching and active mobility exercises to help regain function and improve pain over time.


Next, I will show you some exercises you can do if you are recovering from this condition.



1. Shoulder Elevation - Wand


Gently elevate your arm helping with the uninvolved arm to reach as far back as you tolerate it.

Work more on improving a tiny bit on each repetition rather than pushing too hard and creating more pain and compensations.


Recommended 3 sets of 10 repetitions , slow pace , multiple times a day ( like 5-6 times a day).









2. Shoulder External Rotation - Wand



Gently deviate your hand outwards, pivoting on the towel and helping with the uninvolved arm to reach as far as you tolerate it. Try to work more on improving a tiny bit on each repetition rather than pushing too hard and creating more pain and compensations.


Recommended 3 sets of 10 repetitions , slow pace , multiple times a day ( like 5-6 times a day).









3. Cross Body Adduction Mobility work


The posterior part of the shoulder is a very congested area of tendons, thick muscles and joint capsule and it becomes even more congested and thicker during an episode of Frozen Shoulder.

This mobility exercise helps to stretch this particular area and help with more freedom of movement overall.

Recommended 3 sets of 10 repetitions , slow pace holding the stretch at the end of the range for a few seconds , multiple times a day ( like 5-6 times a day).









4. Wall Slides


The inferior part of the shoulder is also an area of tightness in patients with Frozen Shoulder. This mobility exercise helps to stretch the inferior capsule and ligaments allowing more overhead movement. Use a towell or some cloth / fabrics that slides easily.


Recommended 3 sets of 10 repetitions , slow pace holding the stretch at the end of the range for a few seconds , multiple times a day ( like 5-6 times a day).












5. Behind the back Mobility Exercise


Probably the most difficult movement to recover after an episode of Frozen Shoulder. There is no easy way for this one . As we all the other exercises I’ve been showing so far, patients need to keep trying and repeat these movements , that’s how the shoulder will thaw. We sure you don’t allow you shoulders to tilt forward to make the stretch more efficient, aim for reaching the opposite side ( glute ) and then slide the arm targeting the opposite shoulder blade .


Recommended 3 sets of 10 repetitions , slow pace holding the stretch at the end of the range for a few seconds , multiple times a day ( like 5-6 times a day).







Conclusion:

  • Frozen Shoulder causes limitations in movement and Pain .

  • The good news is that most people recover properly from this condition.

  • Doing the right exercise, and the right amount of activity can expedite the recovery.

  • These simple exercises are a great sequence when recovering from a Frozen shoulder.



Lionel Pannunzio is a Physical Therapist Certified in Sports Injuries.

With more than 20 years of experience helping athletes return to their sports after an injury.

He is the Owner of White Bay Sports Physical Therapy and Fitness, conveniently located  in the beautiful City of Weston, where he treats Soccer Player, Runners and Athletes of all ages

Finally we would like to invite you to follow us  at our:

where you will receive information about your condition and other services we offer, always with the idea of keeping you healthy and fit to enjoy your favorite sport.

Lionel Pannunzio

Physical Therapist

Board-Certified Sports Specialist

Owner of White Bay Physical Therapy



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