Book An


Patient Education

What to Expect in a Physical Therapy Session for Frozen Shoulder?

If you are experiencing difficulty in accomplishing your daily tasks due to frustrating pain and limited mobility of your shoulder and arm, it can be a sign of frozen shoulder. This situation is common in both men and women over the age of 45. If you are suffering from frozen shoulder pain in one shoulder, you are likely to get it in the other shoulder as well.  Therefore, consulting with a physical therapist for frozen shoulder treatment is the right thing to do. A physical therapist will help you regain the natural mobility of your arm and shoulder with the help of some exercises. In this article, we’ll take you through causes and symptoms of frozen shoulder and what you should expect in a physical therapy session for frozen shoulder.

What are the causes for frozen shoulder?

Though it is difficult to point out the causes for frozen shoulder, people with some health conditions are at more risk. If you have a medical condition like hypertension, diabetes, thyroid disease, and Parkinson's disease or have gone through surgery, you are at higher risk of frozen shoulder.

What are the symptoms of frozen shoulder?

People who suffer from this condition go through four stages, namely pre-freezing freezing stage, frozen state, and thawing state. Let’s have a look at the symptoms of the three stages of frozen shoulder.

  • In the pre-freezing stage an individual starts to experience pain and restricted movement in the shoulder.
  • In freezing stage, an individual experiences immense pain in the shoulder joint every time there is an arm movement.
  • In the frozen stage there may not be much pain, but the stiffness persists and gets worse. As a result, arm and shoulder movements become difficult that causes problems to get through your daily activities.
  • In the thawing stage of frozen shoulder, your shoulder movements regain their natural mobility.

What to expect in a physical therapy session for frozen shoulder?

Physical therapists take you through various exercises for frozen shoulder treatment. These exercises differ from one stage to another. In this section, we will discuss physical therapy for various stages of frozen shoulder.

In the pre-freezing and freezing stage, your physical therapist will try to maintain motion and reduce pain in your shoulder with the help of exercises and manual therapy. Also, your physical therapist will take your through heat and ice treatment to help your muscles relax and then start with other forms of treatment. Furthermore, you will be given some gentle exercises which you can perform at home. Your physical therapist will ask you to be careful and make you aware of the fact that aggressive stretching will make the situation worse.

The frozen stage aims at restoring the motion of your shoulder joints. It includes stretching, manual and strengthening exercises. Stretching exercises focus on encouraging movement and flexibility in your shoulders. Manual therapy focuses on loosening the muscle and tissues of your arms and shoulders. Furthermore, strengthening exercises aim at strengthening the core muscles of your arms and shoulders.

In the thawing stage, your physical therapist will take you through the similar exercises as in case of the frozen stage but with an aim to return to normal shoulder movements. The focus in this stage is on the areas and motions that are problematic for you to move.

Looking for a physiotherapist for your frozen shoulder at Sherwood Park, Alberta? Contact us at Emerald Hill Physio.