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Mar 13

How To Treat Frozen Shoulder Before It Gets Worse


Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition of the shoulder characterized by pain and stiffness of the shoulder joint. The tissues around the joint stiffens causing movement of the joint to be limited and painful. Common causes of frozen shoulder are pain, injury, and other chronic conditions such as stroke or diabetes wherein the person stops using the joint allowing it to get stiff. This condition usually goes away slowly over the course of 1-3 years. Physical therapy can help to shorten this recovery period. In this article, I will teach you how to treat frozen shoulder before it gets worse.

Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder is characterized by dull pain over the shoulder area or upper arm. It is more painful when you move your arm and during the early course of the condition.

There are 3 stages of frozen shoulder:
1. Freezing – In this stage, you develop more and more pain. As pain worsens, you lose range of motion. This stage can last from 6 weeks to 9 months.
2. Frozen – In this stage, pain decreases but the stiffness remains. This makes daily activities difficult. This stage can last 4-6 months.
3. Thawing – In this stage, shoulder movement slowly improves. Complete return or almost complete return to normal strength and motion can take from 6 months to 2 years.

Home Remedies for Frozen Shoulder
Physical therapy is an effective treatment for frozen shoulder. Here are some home remedies you can try. Videos of these exercises can be found on our website under the Exercises tab.

1. Heat – can be used to warm up the shoulder before stretching exercises
2. Pendulum Exercise – lean over and hold on to something stable for support such as a table or kitchen counter. Pretend your arm is like a dead weight and use your body to swing the arm. Avoid swinging your arm by itself. Always use your body to initiate the movement so that your arm can be relaxed. Do this in 3 directions: forward, sideways and circular from in to out. Do this 15-20 times.
3. Wand Exercise – use a wand, stick, cane or long umbrella to do this exercise. Hold the wand on one end with the affected arm and hold the wand on the other end with the non-affected arm. Use the non-affected arm to assist/push the affected arm into the following directions: forward, sideway (similar to doing a snow angel), backward, and rotation with your arms at the side and elbow bent to 90 degrees. Do these 1 set of 10 holding for 6 seconds each time 2-3x a day.
4. Finger Ladder or Wall Walk – use a finger ladder or the wall and walk you fingers up the wall to as high as you can. Hold it there for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times. This can be done facing forward and facing sideways.
5. Towel stretch – with the affected arm reaching down and back, use a towel to assist the unaffected hand to stretch it further up the back. This movement is similar to drying your back after taking a shower/bath. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times. This can help especially if you cannot reach back.

Treatment for Frozen Shoulder
If the above home remedies are not enough to relieve your shoulder pain, Don’t Worry! We can design a specialized program that has shown great results at relieving your pain quickly. This program can consist of using different modalities including the revolutionary Laser treatment, ultrasound, manual therapy techniques and exercises. Call Restore Plus TODAY for more information or to schedule an appointment! (800) 905-0513.

Restore Plus Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
3310 Queens Blvd. Suite 301
Long Island City, NY 11101
(800) 905-0513

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