The most common way to alleviate frozen shoulders pain and improve range of motion is through regular stretching and exercise. Continued use of practices usually leads to improvement.
You’ll also learn about other treatment options for frozen shoulder, plus ten exercises and stretches you can do today.
Before getting started, here are some tips
Each stage of the frozen shoulder requires a different set of exercises:
Icing. Shoulder pain at rest gradually becomes sharper at extremes of movement. Typically, it lasts for two to nine months.
It’s frozen. At rest, pain is reduced, but shoulder mobility is significantly reduced, with pain at the ends of ranges of motion. Four to twelve months is the average duration.
Ice thawing. Gradually, the range of motion returns in this stage. About 5 to 26 months can pass during this process.
You may make exercise easier when you take pain relievers before it. If you are experiencing pain before participating in these activities, you can use heat or ice.
Frozen Shoulders Exercises that promote the range of motion
When you are experiencing frozen shoulder pain for the first time, go slow. Then, as you repeat the motions more often, increase the pain without increasing it.
The results of one study from 2005 showed that people with shoulder pain reached nearly normal, painless motion after 12 months (64%) and 24 months (89%) of exercise.
At 24 months, 63 percent of people receiving more intensive physical therapy could move their shoulders painlessly.
1. Standing or sitting external rotation.
- Put a piece of PVC pipe, cane, or a broomstick in your hands while bending your elbows at a 90-degree angle. It would help if you pointed your thumbs upward.
- Then, maintain proximity to your side with the bent arm.
- The moment your affected arm begins to stretch, move your “good” arm and the stick toward your “good” arm.
- Five seconds is recommended.
- Afterward, repeat this ten times. The repetitions can increase as you gain strength.
2. Exercising the muscles of abduction
- Your arm is abducted when you move it away from your midline.
- Place your affected arm and elbow under a table and sit next to it.
- Slide your forearm away slowly until you feel pain.
- Leaning on a table can tilt your body, so don’t do that.
- Twice a day is sufficient.
3. Extend the door when rotating externally
- While seated, bend the elbow of your affected arm 90 degrees.
- Face the doorframe with your palms and wrists.
- By turning away from the door, keep your forearm rooted to the floor.
- In case of pain, stop the stretch.
- Twice a day is sufficient.
4. Exercises on the pendulum is the best exercise for Frozen Shoulders
- In passive manipulation, your arm and shoulder are moved passively without using your muscles consciously.
- Sit on your back or place your affected arm beside a table while lying on your back.
- Your waist should be forward as you lean forward.
- Make small circular movements with your affected arm when you are relaxed.
- We recommend repeating the exercise up to three times each day.
5. Exercising to increase strength and flexibility
- You can increase the number of stretches, repeats, and strengthening activities as your frozen shoulder progresses into the second phase.
- If your affected arm is weak, add a soup can as a weight to exercise. In exercise, move your affected arm further up your back.
6. Stretching wall climbs
- It would be best if you touched the wall with the hand of the arm that is affected.
- With either hand or arm on the wall, you should be able to slide them up smoothly.
- Strengthen your body nearer the wall.
- Holding the stretch for fifteen to twenty seconds is optimal.
- It would be best if you repeated the stretch ten times.
7. Exercise for adduction
The act of bringing your arm towards your body is known as adduction. But, unfortunately, abduction is what it’s not.
- Tie a resistance band to something heavy, such as a doorknob.
- Placing the other end of the band in the affected arm’s hand will help.
- The band should be taut when your arm is outstretched when you are standing far enough from the anchor.
- In a gentle back-and-forth movement, move your arm ten times toward and away from your body.
- If it increases your pain, don’t perform this strengthening exercise. Your repetitions should increase as you gain strength.
8. Reflexion in the forward direction
- You will stretch your affected arm again using a passive range of motion, where you or someone else gently pulls on it.
- Rest your legs comfortably on your back while lying on your back.
- You should be able to feel a gentle stretching sensation in the affected arm as you bend your “good” arm across your body.
- Then, slowly lower your affected arm after holding the position for 15 seconds.
- Increasing the hold time as you become stronger.
9. Shrugging shoulders is perfect for Frozen Shoulders
- Hold both shoulders up for five seconds, whether you are sitting or standing.
- It would be best if you repeated it ten times.
Backward and forwards shoulder shrugs
- As big a circle as you can without hurting your shoulders, raise your shoulders toward your ears while rolling them forward.
- Move your shoulders back as you repeat the exercise. The directions should repeat ten times each.
- You may hear some popping sounds, but they shouldn’t hurt.
10. Stretching behind the back.
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Turn your back to the affected arm.
- Your other hand should push your affected arm’s palm upwards toward your opposite shoulder.
- After one to five seconds, stop holding the stretch when you feel pain.
- Two times a day is ideal.
Treatments for Frozen shoulders pain in other ways
In addition to physical therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), you can also discuss these other alternatives with your doctor:
- Acupuncture appears to relieve some frozen shoulder symptoms anecdotally, but there is little evidence of its effectiveness in randomized trials.
- In addition, electrical stimulation via TENS may be an option, although studies have yet to confirm its effectiveness.
- An examination of yoga asanas in 2019
- After one month, the standard treatment of frozen shoulder proved to be ineffective.
Injections of steroids, hyaluronan, and hydrosilation For Frozen Shoulders
According to some studies, the best time to receive steroid injections is in the early stages of frozen shoulder treatment. An injection of corticosteroids, coupled with hydrosilation, might help reduce pain in the first three months of treatment.
You have to find Hyaluronan injections to provide pain relief, especially at night.
Compare both steroid injections and hyaluronic acid injections (also called hyaluronic acid) with no treatment in a 2017 study. In addition, treatments showed improved pain and mobility after three months compared to those who did not receive treatments.
The use of electrotherapy
An analysis of different types of electrotherapy performed in 2014 concluded that electrotherapy in conjunction with physical therapy might be more beneficial than physical therapy alone. There are various types of electrotherapy, including laser treatment, TENS treatment, ultrasound therapy, and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy.
Treatment with low-level lasers
The study that reported significant pain reduction after eight weeks of treatment for frozen shoulder with low-power lasers found that treatment with low-power lasers significantly decreased pain compared to a placebo group. The range of motion, however, did not significantly improve during the same period.
The surgical procedure
If conservative treatment does not work, manipulation under anesthesia is an option.
Perseverance and patience are essential.
Intensive physical therapy and steroid injection treatments may provide the most relief for frozen shoulder people experiencing stages 2 and 3.
In most cases, frozen shoulders can also be regained pain-free through treatments such as exercises. However, it can take up to three years. As a result, new treatments are being researched.
A guide to treating frozen shoulders
May combine other conservative treatments with physical therapy and a home-based exercise program, including:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Local injection of corticosteroid
- Glucocorticoids and saline injections (hydrodilatation)
- Irrigation with hyaluronan
To exercise effectively, you need to adjust your program to your level of pain—the stage of your frozen shoulder with the guidance of a physical therapist.
How to deal with frozen shoulders
About 2 to 5% of people have frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis of the population.
- An average of 1 to 3 years passes before it resolves.
- The majority of people with frozen shoulders are over 56 years of age.
- The first description of the frozen shoulder was in 1872 under the term periarthritis. There is no clear explanation for this.
- Diabetes increases the risk of frozen shoulders.