If you are one of the many sufferings from frozen shoulder, you know how painful and debilitating it can be. Frozen shoulder is a condition that causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint, making it difficult to move your arm. Many people struggle with everyday tasks, such as brushing their teeth or putting on a shirt. Fortunately, some exercises can help relieve the pain and stiffness associated with a frozen shoulder. This blog post will discuss some of the best-frozen shoulder exercises to help you get back to your routine!
What is a Frozen Shoulder?
Frozen shoulder is a medical condition that results in the connective tissue around your shoulder becoming stiff and inflamed. It can often lead to pain and significantly restricted mobility.
Causes of Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder can develop after an injury, a complication of diabetes, or an unfortunate side-effect of a stroke/Parkinson’s disease. For some people, a frozen shoulder can be terrible and make it hard to do things physical therapy, a corticosteroid injection, joint manipulation, or surgery may be recommended to restore shoulder motion and relieve pain.
Frozen Shoulder Stages
There are three stages to a frozen shoulder: the Freezing Stage, the Frozen Stage, and the Thawing Stage.
The Freezing Stage
Most people seek medical attention when their shoulder hurts and they cannot move it well. Over time, the range of motion in your shoulder gradually becomes more limited, and the shoulder becomes more painful.
The Frozen Stage
The shoulder pain will gradually improve over the next few months—up to six months when you have the least mobility.
The Thawing Stage
Shoulder function and mobility can be restored after two years. In certain circumstances, surgery and physical therapy have similar effects.
What exercises can I do to help my frozen shoulder? Below are some of the best exercises and stretches you can do at home, with little or no equipment.
Frozen Shoulder Exercises
It is an easy exercise, but it can be done wrong. Here’s how to do the pendulum frozen shoulder exercise correctly.
- When you want to lean forward, put your hand or elbow on a table, counter, or chair.
- Allow your shoulder to relax and hang down toward the floor.
- Stand apart and switch the weight from one foot to the other. Use your momentum to swing your arm, not your shoulder muscles.
It would help if you held a light such as a dumbbell or can of soup to do these exercises. Perform 1-2 minutes of rhythmic swings forward/backward, side-to-side, and clockwise/counter-clockwise circles.
It could be the most challenging time for someone with a frozen shoulder.
- To help you stretch your sore arm behind your back, use a large cloth (or dog leash).
- Grab one corner of the towel on the back side of your hip with your afflicted hand.
- Take the other end of the towel in your unaffected hand and bring it up behind your back. Drape it over your natural shoulder.
- When stretching your back, use your unaffected arm to pull upwards or forwards to help your affected arm stretch up or behind your back.
- Hold for 10-30 seconds for 5-10 repetitions.
External Rotation Stretch
You can do this exercise in two ways: with a golf club/stick or a doorway/corner.
- Golf Club/Stick
Your injured arm should hold the other end. Keep your wounded elbow bent—unaffected arm shoulder rotation push with a component that isn’t hurt to turn your injured shoulder outward.
While standing, crook your elbow and place your hand on a door frame or wall corner. Keep your elbow close to your body. Rotate your body away from your arm until you feel a stretch or reach the point of increased discomfort.
Stretch for 10-30 seconds for 5-10 repetitions.
You can do this exercise on a table or with a Swiss ball.
- Swiss Ball
If you have a swiss/yoga ball, place both hands on the ball while you’re seated in a chair. Lean your body forward and let your arms roll the ball until you feel a stretch or discomfort in your shoulder.
Sit at the kitchen table in a chair and put your arm on the table. It will help your arm feel better.
Relax your arm and lean your chest forward. It will cause your arm to slide forward on the table until you feel a stretch or discomfort.
It can also be done by sliding your arm up a wall. It is called the wall slide. You can do it in the shower with warm water to help you. Hold 10 seconds for 10-20 repetitions.
Overhead Pulley Stretch
A stretch can help improve ROM for people with frozen shoulders. However, it is the only stretch on this list that requires special equipment. This pulley costs less than $13 and should do the job!
- Attach the pulley system above your door. Close the door and place a chair against the door.
- Sit down and use your unaffected arm to pull downward on the pulleys. It will raise your affected arm. Keep your affected arm relaxed. Begin by having the pulleys stretch your arm forward at a 45-degree angle to the side and finally sideways.
Perform the pulleys consecutively for 2-4 minutes, pausing for 2-3 seconds at the top to stretch.
Should I Use Ice on a Frozen Shoulder?
If you have pain after doing these exercises, you can use an ice pack for 10-15 minutes. Once the pain has decreased, you can use heat to help loosen your shoulder before doing the exercises again. It is essential to stay in a tolerable range of motion because going too far can increase the pain you feel. Before beginning these workouts, you should consult a physician or physical therapist.
Frequently Asked Questions About Frozen Shoulder Exercise
When someone hurts their shoulder and has trouble moving it afterward, this is a common cause of frozen shoulder. It can include an arm that was broken or a stroke. If you have had an injury that has made it hard to move your shoulder, talk to your doctor about exercises you can do to help keep the range of motion in your shoulder joint.
Most frozen shoulders improve over 6 to 12 months without treatment, but it can sometimes take up to 18 months. Without treatment, motion usually returns gradually but may never reach full range.
Massage and stretching are very beneficial for treating frozen shoulder pain. Massage can help relieve tension and tightness in the muscles to relax. It can help restores mobility and improve function. It may also help improve blood flow to the affected area and reduce inflammation.
People with a frozen shoulder must avoid all diets and lifestyle practices that aggravate Vata. It includes eating frozen food, drinking carbonated drinks, fast food, stale food, packaged food, chips, popcorn, and white flour products. They should also avoid ice cream and stimulants like tea, coffee, or alcohol.
When trying to lay down new tissue, your body sends more blood to the area. It can cause pain that is similar to a toothache. That is why your shoulder hurts more at night and when you lie on it.