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Physiotherapy in the Management of Frozen Shoulder

June 08, 2023
Physiotherapy in the Management of Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is a medical condition in which a person experiences pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. It limits the arm’s range of motion and makes completing daily tasks difficult. In other words, it leads to stiffening of the shoulder, causing restrictions in shoulder movement. Frozen shoulder treatment can be easily managed through physiotherapy, performed to improve adhesive capsulitis.

How can physiotherapy help?

For individuals experiencing frozen shoulder pain, physiotherapists will first create a therapy schedule for you. This will involve the exercises, their frequency, and also do manual therapy treatment. Here are the popular frozen shoulder pain relief programmes administered:

  • Manual treatment:

To increase the range of motion in your shoulders, your physiotherapist may do several mobility exercises.

  • Strengthening exercises:

These workouts are meant to help your shoulders’ core muscles regain some of their strength.

  • Home-exercise programme:

Depending on your symptoms, your therapist will recommend frozen shoulder management exercises that you can perform at home.

  • Pain medication:

Sometimes traditional treatment may not be able to sufficiently manage your discomfort. Your family doctor might suggest that you get an injection to help with short-term pain relief.

  • Cortisone injection:

Cortisone injections can be used as a treatment option for frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis.

Frozen Shoulder Exercises

Common physiotherapy exercises for frozen therapy

There are several frozen shoulder physio exercises to be performed by anyone affected by a frozen shoulder. These are demonstrated by the physiotherapist and can also be performed at home.

Here are a few popular physio exercises for frozen shoulders:

  • Shoulder active assistive range of motion:

The active ROM exercise helps the hand, shoulder, and rotator cuff muscles move normally after the passive ROM exercise. You can perform these workouts by yourself at home. Examples include external rotation, flexion, and abduction.

  • Shoulder passive range of motion exercise:

The therapist moves the patient’s body parts and stretches their muscles during the passive shoulder ROM exercise. The exercise maintains flexibility while removing joint stiffness. To loosen the stiff joint, the therapist moves the shoulder. To loosen up the muscles and relieve tension, the patient’s tissues are stretched. This exercise involves relaxing the shoulder and moving it in various directions, including flexion and external and internal rotation.

  • Relaxed passive mobilisation:

The patient is positioned supine with the afflicted shoulder in the widest possible abduction, in neutral rotation, and with the elbow flexed 90 degrees. The physiotherapist glides the humeral head on the glenoid in a passive, relaxed motion while holding the arm above the shoulder joint. Always begin with gentle, rhythmic movement to promote relaxation, along with anterior-posterior glide, abduction-adduction glide, and axial traction.

Frozen Shoulder Treatment

How effective is physiotherapy for frozen shoulders?

Frozen shoulder pain can be effectively treated with physiotherapy. It can not only improve the process of healing but also eliminate the need to undergo surgery. If you are experiencing any discomfort like this condition, it is recommended that you consult a physiotherapist. You can also try acupuncture for frozen shoulders to gradually increase mobility and reduce pain.


Adhesive capsulitis is treated slowly but steadily with physiotherapy. Frozen shoulder physiotherapy must all be performed under a physiotherapist’s direction. Exercises that are continuously performed result in a quick improvement of the frozen shoulder. These physical activities can be incorporated both before and after surgery, as well as during treatment for a frozen shoulder.

At Southgate Physio, we have the experience to aid our patients with a variety of medical conditions and illnesses. Through our hands-on approach and intensive care, we help you get timely frozen shoulder management and resume your normal routine. Get in touch with us and attain a speedy recovery of your frozen shoulder under the guidance of trained physiotherapists.

If you want to know more, feel free to get in touch with us by calling 0208 3686767 or emailing us at

Physiotherapy Services We Offer

Our clinic offers a wide range of treatments that are all recommended and tailored to everyone who comes and visits us. Our range of treatments complements the body and mind, helping to keep you pain and injury-free, delivering preventative measures to maintain your well-being and enhance your performance levels.

Our main aim is to restore your personal well-being so you can enjoy an active, healthy, and pain-free life. Click on any of the services to find out a little more about each treatment and understand if it might be right for you.

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