What is frozen shoulder and how physical therapy can help?

by lakecountrypt, November 8, 2017


Causes and Symptoms

Also known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is a condition that is characterized by recurrent stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. This usually occurs when recovering from an injury or surgery that prevents any movement from the arm. The stages of frozen shoulder develop slowly and usually in three stages.  The first being the freezing stage, this is when any movement of the arm causes pain and your range of motion becomes limited. Next is the frozen stage, where your shoulder becomes stiffer and using your shoulder is more difficult. The final stage is the thawing stage, where the range of motion in your shoulder begins to get back to normal. The goal is to get you to that thawing stage as fast as possible. That is where physical therapy can help.


Thawing Out Faster

Once you are in the frozen stage it is important to act right away to get your range of motion and use back on your shoulder.  Our team here at Lake Country Physical Therapy & Sportscare wants you to be able to live your life pain-free. We have many different treatment programs our staff will work with you and find the right one that fits your goals. There are many different exercises that our physical therapists will teach you to help restore the motion in your shoulder.  Sometimes heat may be used to be able to loosen up the shoulder before stretching. Your commitment to the recovery process is key in getting better faster.  


What to Expect  

With frozen shoulder, it generally gets better over time with the use of motion stretches although the pain can last for up to three years. The goal of treatment is to control the pain and restore motion. We do this with a variety of different stretches, like:

  1. External rotation — passive stretch.
  2. Forward flexion — supine position.
  3. Forward flexion — supine position.

Come and make an appointment with our team today to help you get back to the pain-free life you enjoy!