Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, can be an incredibly painful and limiting condition. Characterized by stiffness and restricted range of motion in the shoulder joint, it can significantly hinder your daily activities and quality of life.
Fortunately, a combination of physiotherapy treatment and targeted home exercises can offer effective relief and help you regain mobility.
Understanding Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder typically develops in three stages – freezing, frozen, and thawing.
During the freezing stage, pain and stiffness gradually increase, making simple tasks like reaching for items or putting on clothes difficult.
The frozen stage sees a plateau in pain, but the stiffness remains. In the thawing stage, the range of motion slowly improves.
Physiotherapy for Frozen Shoulder Treatment
Professional guidance is crucial for managing frozen shoulders.
A physiotherapist will assess your condition and design a customized treatment plan. This may include:
1. Joint Mobilization: Gentle, controlled movements to improve joint mobility.
2. Stretching Exercises: Targeted stretches to gradually increase shoulder flexibility.
3. Strengthening Exercises: Gradually building strength in the shoulder muscles to support improved range of motion.
4. Pain Management Techniques: Therapeutic modalities like heat, ice, and ultrasound to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
5. Manual Techniques: Soft tissue mobilization and myofascial release to release tension and promote healing.
Read Also – Neck Pain Relief Exercises
Home Exercises for Frozen Shoulder
Your physiotherapist will likely recommend home exercises to complement in-clinic sessions. Here are some effective home exercises for a frozen shoulder:
1. Pendulum Swing
Gently lean forward and use your good arm to support your weight. Allow the affected arm to hang freely and gently swing it in small circles.
2. Wall Climbing
Stand facing a wall and use your fingers to slowly “climb” the wall. As your flexibility improves, you can gradually increase the height you reach.
3. Crossover Arm Stretch
Hold a towel with one hand and let it hang behind your back. Reach up with the other hand and grasp the towel from below. Gently pull the towel with the top hand to stretch the affected shoulder.
4. Cane Exercises
Holding a cane or broomstick, perform exercises like “cane slides” to gently stretch and mobilize the shoulder joint.
5. External Rotation Stretch
Lie on your back with your elbow bent at 90 degrees and a rolled towel under your upper arm. Use your other hand to gently press down on the bent elbow, stretching the shoulder.
Consistency: Perform your prescribed exercises and stretches consistently to achieve the best results.
Gradual Progression: Start with gentle movements and gradually increase intensity as your mobility improves.
Pain Awareness: Mild discomfort is expected during exercises, but never push through sharp or severe pain.
Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration supports joint health and mobility.
Remember, every individual’s condition is unique. Consult a qualified physiotherapist before starting any exercise regimen, and ensure you follow their guidance closely. With the right approach, patience, and dedication, you can effectively manage frozen shoulders and regain the freedom to move and enjoy life to the fullest.