Exercises to Prevent Frozen Shoulder

If you have a frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis, it's essential to find a balance between rest and exercises designed for frozen shoulders. There is a danger of aggravating your pain and adhesions by overdoing it, but there is also a chance that too much rest will make the shoulder more rigid. Continue reading to learn more about the best exercises for frozen shoulder discomfort.

Flexion Home Exercises
Exercises at home to treat a frozen shoulder can enhance your healing potential by improving circulation and breaking down the stiff, swollen tissue. Ease into these home exercises slowly to see how your shoulder responds before moving on to more difficult ones.

1. Scapular Squeezes
This easy exercise is beneficial for improving your posture and mobility of your shoulder blades. Begin by sitting or standing comfortably. Then, imagine you have a quarter between your shoulder blades that you'd want to squeeze and keep there. Make sure your neck stays loose and your shoulders down as you bring your shoulder blades back.

For best results, squeeze and hold for 3-5 seconds before repeating up to 15 times. You can also do 2-3 sets. If you want to make it more challenging, use a resistance band and do low rows instead.

2. Isometric Shoulder External Rotation
isometric exercises engage the muscles around a frozen shoulder without having to raise the affected arm. This can help work the muscles with manageable pain. Use the wall or your opposite hand to give you enough resistance for each move. Begin by placing the palm of your opposite hand against the back of your hand with your weak arm at your side and elbow bent. Use your opposite hand to pull the injured forearm/hand toward your belly button.

For best results, hold each stretch for 3-5 seconds and repeat the process 20 times. Perform 2-3 sets total.

3. Bicep Curls
Bicep curls are often well-tolerated exercises because they can be completed with your arms at your side. Choose a resistance band or light weights to begin. This can be done while seated in a chair or standing. If you have a band, place the midpoint of it beneath your feet and adjust your hands for optimum tension. After keeping your arms at your sides, bend the elbow and bring your palms closer to your shoulders.

Repeat for 15-20 repetitions twice or three times. As desired, increase resistance or weight. Always concentrate on maintaining good posture.

4. Prone Shoulder Extension
This is a great way to start moving the shoulder in more ranges, strengthening the shoulder blades and upper back as well. Try lying on your stomach with your neck in a good position and your abs tight to protect your lower back. Afterward, stretch your arms out to the side to form a "T" with your thumbs pointing up. Relax your neck and squeeze your shoulder blades before you lift your arms a few inches off the floor and hold.

For 5-10 repetitions, hold each rep for 5 seconds.

The Best Time to Exercise Adhesive Capsulitis
The frequency of your shoulder exercises will be determined by the stage of a frozen shoulder you are in. The most crucial thing is to utilize your symptoms as a guide.

  • An increase in pain or stiffness is your body's way of telling you that you need to modify or stop an exercise. With time, you will become attuned with your shoulder and be able to tell when you should push yourself.
  • In the freezing stage, you will be in a lot of discomforts. Maintain as much pain-free range as feasible for 5-20 minutes every day and concentrate on pain management.
  • You should feel less discomfort in the frozen stage and be able to push yourself for 10 minutes each day to stretch and strengthen your shoulder.
  • Strengthening should be increased to 5-20 minutes each day during the final thawing stage.

Finally, after your shoulder has recovered, you should maintain a few times per week of shoulder home exercise.

Check Out These Exercise Tips If You're Experiencing Pain
If you are trying to improve your shoulder mobility, exercise is essential. Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • To warm up the shoulder and rotator cuff, do some gentle stretches.
  • Keep a good posture; your chin is tucked, your shoulders are back, and no slouching.
  • Relieve neck tension by loosely holding your head with each move. If the exercise is too difficult, you'll feel it in your neck muscles.
  • Treat painful symptoms with modalities like ice, heat, and massage.
  • To improve your healing power, practice stress management skills and self-care.
  • To get the most out of your exercise, see a physical therapist.

A Guide to Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain

Should I Get Physical Therapy?
There are several advantages to receiving physiotherapy treatment for a frozen shoulder. A physical therapist can help you ease your pain and restore the range of motion in your shoulder.

A frozen shoulder can be the result of a more serious underlying problem, and a physical therapist may assist in determining this. Frozen shoulder is frequently caused by the following conditions:

  • Rotator Cuff Tear
  • Shoulder Impingement
  • Shoulder Bursitis
  • Shoulder Tendonitis

Passive Range of Motion Exercises
A physical therapist (PT) can use passive range of motion exercises and manual therapy to increase tissue extensibility, reduce shoulder pain, and improve joint range of motion when stiffness and pain are present. If these commonly used techniques work well for your body, your physical therapist can show you how to self-treat at home as well.

Joint Approximation
When the joint capsule tissues are inflamed and sore, holding the shoulder in a more relaxed position may help a lot. This method allows the physical therapist to carefully move your shoulder so that it's in a less painful position for a little while. This can also allow healing components in the blood to perfuse better and promote tissue regeneration.

The therapist will hold for 30-90 seconds, or until they notice the shoulder beginning to relax.

Joint Capsule Mobilization
Shrugging is another approach that a physical therapist might take. The treatment also focuses on stretching the capsular tissues that are most restricted, as determined by your assessment. The PT will typically pull the ball of the shoulder away from the socket (millimeters only) before guiding it into areas of tightness for stretching. The anterior (forward), posterior (backward), and inferior (downward) capsules are among the places that they will stretch.

Scapular Mobilization
If you don't move your shoulder as much as usual, it can cause stiffness and biomechanical issues with your scapulae (shoulder blades). When the shoulders aren't moving well, they may exacerbate existing shoulder problems since these regions must operate together for normal arm function. A frequent way to mobilize the shoulder blade is through a side-lying position, but there are many other PT techniques. Your physical therapist will help you open up your shoulders by putting them in restricted postures for the appropriate amount of stretching.

How to Choose the Best Frozen Shoulder Exercises
Exercising a frozen shoulder should start with simple exercises to promote comfort and healing. Don't worry, with time you'll be able to handle more strenuous activities as you get back into your daily routine. If an exercise does not feel right, don't force it. If you're finding that your symptoms are taking over your life or getting worse, it's time to have a talk with your orthopedist or physical therapist about all the healthcare options available to you.