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How Does Physiotherapy Help In The Frozen Shoulder?

Tue Aug 10

Frozen shoulder is also referred to as adhesive capsulitis. It is a frequent occurrence in primary care and may be very painful and debilitating. The condition has three stages: frozen (painful), freezing (sticky), and melting, often self-limiting. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, oral glucocorticoids, intra-articular glucocorticoid injections, or physical therapy are the common conservative therapies to cure frozen shoulder pain. 

On the other hand, many doctors may be restricted to prescription medicines and advise seeing sports physiotherapy in Calgary.

This article will discuss three different phases of frozen shoulder and how physiotherapy can help treat such situations. 

What are the three phases of Frozen Shoulder?

Stage 1: Freezing Phase

The first stage will have you suffer severe shoulder discomfort and the beginning of some stiffness at this preliminary phase of the frozen shoulder. Imagine that you have a clear ice cube in your hand. At this level, your shoulder isn’t completely frozen, but it is getting closer to it.

Frozen shoulder can persist anywhere from 3 to 9 months during this first stage. Unfortunately, this is the longest period of the illness. Therefore, strong therapies should not be used at this time. The uncomfortable menstruation will necessitate pain management therapies, including anti-inflammatory medicine.

Stage 2: The Frozen Phase

Your frozen shoulder will be the most rigid during this period. The transition from stage 1 to stage 2 may be severe, but the defining feature of stage 2 is the effort to recognize your shoulder until the pain subsides in late stage 2.

The second stage of frozen shoulder may persist between nine and fifteen months. At stage 2, physiotherapy may be very beneficial in restoring range of motion to a frozen shoulder, while pain relief medication can generally be discontinued.

Stage 3: Thawing Phase

When a person has a frozen shoulder, the third stage is when the shoulder becomes thawed. According to the ice cube analogy, in the third step, you begin to soften and get rid of your stiffness and discomfort. Your frozen shoulder may begin to “thaw” when your shoulder’s range of motion resumes.

Physiotherapy treatment for the frozen main will be more efficient throughout stage three of the thawing period, lasting around a year or two. 

Frozen shoulder typically takes about 30 months to go through all three phases. However, choosing physiotherapy for the frozen shoulder may speed up the recovery process at this point.

Also Read: Understanding Physiotherapy: How it works and what all it can heal?

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

The main aim of your physical therapist is to recover your mobility so that you can do your regular tasks. After determining the stage of your illness via the assessment process, your physical therapist for frozen shoulder will develop a customized exercise program suited to your requirements. Exercise is most helpful for individuals in the second stage or above. 

Physical treatment for frozen shoulder usually involves the use of therapeutic techniques and procedures to alleviate discomfort and vigorous range of motion (ROM) activities to aid with shoulder mobility improvement.

Your physical therapist should explain what to anticipate during therapy for frozen shoulder, as well as what you may do to improve your condition.

Exercises and movement are essential for successful frozen shoulder treatment. Your physical therapist will have you perform activities in the physiotherapy clinic, and they will likely have you perform specific exercises on your own as part of a home exercise program.

Passive Shoulder Range of Motion Exercises

Your physical therapist will work with you to preserve as much muscle strength as possible while also assisting with pain reduction. To maintain shoulder movement, your therapist may employ a mix of range-of-motion exercises and manual therapy for the frozen shoulder. 

Flexion, abduction, and lateral flexion are the three axes of motion most frequently affected by frozen shoulders. Additionally, you may have a significant loss of full extension and adduction, an activity akin to reaching beneath your back.

Passive range of motion exercises for the shoulder is an excellent method to assist increase shoulder mobility. The main disadvantage of passive ROM is that it requires the assistance of another individual to do the exercises. This assists in maintaining a completely relaxed shoulder during the ROM exercises. While you are at the clinic, your PT may do a passive range of motion exercises for you.

Shoulder Active Range of Motion Exercises

After a few minutes of passive ROM and mild stretches, it’s time to begin actively moving your hand. Active shoulder range of motion exercises may assist you in regaining normal use of your arm and reactivate your neck and rotator cuff muscles.

Active range of motion exercises for frozen shoulders is easy to do at home and maybe repeated many times each day. Ten to fifteen repetitions of each activity in flexion, abductor, and external rotation, two to three times each day.

Scapular Stabilization Exercises

Once you have a frozen shoulder, individuals may develop compensatory methods to compensate for your shoulder joint’s lack of mobility. One balancing technique is to raise your arm with an excessive amount of shoulder blade movement. This exercise will assist you in regulating how you utilize your shoulder blade. The activities may be done on your couch, and no additional equipment is required.

Also Read: Improve Your Life With Physiotherapy: Here Is How It Can Help

What Kind of Physical Therapist Do I Need?

All physical therapists are educated and experienced enough to do the job for frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis. You might also want to think about:

• A physical therapist who has experience treating patients who have orthopedic or musculoskeletal problems. 

• A physiotherapist who is a board-certified clinical consultant or who has completed a residency or communion in orthopedic surgery physical therapy, manual physiotherapy, or upper extremity treatment. This therapist has extensive knowledge, expertise, and abilities that may be beneficial in treating your problem.

You may locate one of the best physiotherapists in Calgary to help you start the frozen shoulder treatment. Consult our certified experts to alleviate your frozen shoulder pain and get you on track with a healthy and fit life.

Also Read: What Are The Benefits Of Physiotherapy After The Surgery?