Frozen shoulder and essential exercises to improve range of motion

Shoulder pain is one of the most common pain conditions that people complain of, especially after the age of forty. Frozen shoulder is one of the most sever shoulder pain conditions and it can be quite disabling since it severely shoulder joints range of motion. Frozen shoulder is one of the reasons people visit orthopadic physiotherapists. Early intervention makes a difference in whether or not the patient develops complications. The shoulder pain not treated, has a tendency of lasting very long. Some of the most common causes of shoulder pain are mentioned below:

  • Age related arthritic changes
  • Sports related Injury
  • Job related repetitive strain
  • Hormonal imbalances causing changes in bones and bony structures
  • Poor muscle control due to stokes causing impingement
  • Pain radiated from nerve impingement or a cervical disc
  • Arthritis, a rotator cuff tear, bursitis and tendonitis
  • Muscle weakness in individuals who do not exercise regularly
  • Poor posture
  • Inflammatory medical conditions
  • Poor diet or a sedentary lifestyle

This list is just a glimpse into the various causes of shoulder pain. Taking pain killers may be effective in o alleviating the discomfort of the shoulder pain, but what this puts patients’ bodies through an unnecessary treatment which is aimed only to manage pain and does not address the root cause of the pain. Rest assured there are many other alternatives that can help treat shoulder pain in an effective manner, but arguably the most effective mode is adhering to progressive range of motion and postural exercises in combination with muscle strengthening and pain management techniques. Applying heat or ice before doing these exercises makes it easier and more effective. Once trained and learned the proper form, these exercises can be performed independently at home or you could contact a physiotherapist who can not only provide you with proper instructions but can address the root cause of your injury and pain. The physiotherapy treatment for frozen shoulder will include manual therapy to mobilize your joints and release your muscles as well as exercises. Understanding your injury is the first step towards recovery and only a certified professional can ascertain why your shoulder is hurting.

Essential exercises for frozen shoulder

There are certain essential mobility exercises that are specifically designed to help improve the shoulder mobility of patients with shoulder injuries, these exercises are mentioned below:

  1. Pendulum stretch: One of the most effective postural exercises is the pendulum stretch and it is the primary exercise the most physiotherapists prescribe for shoulder treatment. All you have to do is relax your shoulders and stand with your arms on the side, starting swinging your arms slowly in a circular motion simultaneously. You should repeat this process ten times in the beginning and with time gradually increase the diameter of swing to target more muscles.
  2. Finger Walk: Another effective postural exercise for shoulder pain is the finger walk; all you have to do is stand in front of a wall and place your fingers on the wall. Place your fingers waist high on the wall and slowly walk your fingers in an upward direction as far as you can manage. We would recommend this exercise at least ten times in a day and increase the sets after you notice a reduction in your shoulder pain.
  3. Towel stretch: In order to perform this exercise you will require a towel that is approximately 3 feet long. Hold the towel in one hand and bring the towel behind your back, then grab the other end of the towel with your other arm. Slowly pull the top arm so your other arm starts rising and then bring it back to its original state, repeat this process at least ten times in a day.
  4. Armpit stretch: This is not only effective for shoulder pain but also for neck pains, all you have to do is put your arm breast length on a counter or shelf. Make sure that your counter shelf is sturdy enough and then bend your knees by performing a squat. This will stretch your arm pit and will condition your shoulder muscles in order to alleviate the pain.
  5. Cross body reach: In order to perform this exercise what you have to do is to grab your arm from the elbow and slowly bring the arm up across the body. We would recommend performing this exercise at least ten times a day.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain related to limited range of motion or have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder call Physiomobility for a consultation or book your appointment with one of sports and orthopaedic physiotherapists.

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The Physiomobility Team