Frozen shoulder and physical therapy

As the name suggests it is a condition in which your shoulder is unable to move properly. The shoulder is made up of three bones that form a ball and socket joint which is a type of synovial joint. These bones are our upper arm bone known as humerus, shoulder blade known as scapula, and collar bone which is also called clavicle. Tissues are surrounding these shoulder bones which hold all things in place and are called shoulder capsules. Frozen shoulder is a condition when the shoulder capsule thickens a lot and synovial fluid is reduced and it doesn’t show the same range of movement because of scar formation.


One of the most common causes of frozen shoulders is inflammation of the shoulder capsule. In a frozen shoulder, the tissue is swelled and it forms scars this condition is also called adhesive capsulitis. One of the other common causes or risk factors of frozen shoulder is age and sex it is more common in females and people of age above 40. If your shoulder remains immobile for a long duration due to other injuries such as rotator cuff injury, stroke, or post-surgical care you are also at greater risk of frozen shoulder some systemic diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson disease hyper, and hypothyroidism can also lead to shoulder joint immobility


It is a disease that doesn’t develop at once but progresses slowly. There are three stages of frozen shoulder and each stage has different symptoms

Freezing stage

At this stage, you are unable to move your shoulder joint. In addition to mobility, you also feel excess pain in your shoulder joint when you try to move it

Frozen stage 

 At this stage, the pain becomes to diminish but the shoulder becomes stiffer

Thawing stage

At this stage, there is no pain, and range of motion also become to improve

 How can physical therapy help?

In addition to anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medicines, a physical therapy session is a must for the treatment of a frozen shoulder. The goal of a physical therapist is to minimize the pain and achieve the maximum degree of movement. For this purpose, several exercises and other manual techniques are used for reducing pain and preserving the maximum degree of movement. A physical therapist can help you to treat frozen shoulders at early stages and prevent expensive surgical treatments. If at the beginning stages of frozen shoulders a physical therapy session is not programmed or regular exercises and other precautions prescribed by your physical therapist is not followed properly it can lead to worsening of the disease and ultimately the only solution left is a surgical treatment