A frozen shoulder is a painful and debilitating condition that affects the shoulder joint. It can make even simple daily activities like reaching for a cup on a high shelf or brushing your hair seem like insurmountable tasks. Fortunately, physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the management and recovery from frozen shoulder. In this blog, we'll explore the condition, its causes, and how physiotherapy can be your key to regaining shoulder mobility and reducing pain.
Understanding Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder is characterized by stiffness, pain, and limited range of motion in the shoulder joint. It typically progresses through three stages:
Freezing Stage: In this initial stage, pain gradually increases, and you start to notice a decrease in your shoulder's range of motion. This stage can last from 6 weeks to 9 months.
Frozen Stage: During this stage, pain may begin to subside, but shoulder stiffness remains. This stage can last from 4 months to a year.
Thawing Stage: In the final stage, your shoulder starts to regain mobility, and the pain diminishes. This stage can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.
The exact cause of frozen shoulder is not fully understood, but it often occurs after an injury, surgery, or in individuals with certain medical conditions like diabetes or thyroid disorders.
How Physiotherapy Can Help
Physiotherapy is a cornerstone in the management of frozen shoulder. A skilled physiotherapist can create a personalized treatment plan to address your specific needs and stage of frozen shoulder. Here's how physiotherapy can help:
Pain Management: At the onset of frozen shoulder, pain can be excruciating. Physiotherapists use various techniques such as ice, heat, and manual therapy to alleviate pain and inflammation.
Range of Motion Exercises: Gentle and targeted exercises are designed to improve the range of motion in your shoulder joint. Your physiotherapist will guide you through these exercises and ensure that they are performed safely to prevent further injury.
Strengthening Exercises: Weakness in the shoulder muscles is common in frozen shoulder. Specific exercises are prescribed to gradually strengthen the muscles around the shoulder joint, helping to stabilize it and support improved mobility.
Manual Therapy: Hands-on techniques like joint mobilization and soft tissue massage can help break down adhesions and improve joint mobility.
Stretching: Stretching exercises are essential to counteract the tightening of the joint capsule that occurs in frozen shoulder. Your physiotherapist will guide you in performing stretches that target the affected areas.
Posture and Ergonomics: Addressing posture and ergonomic issues is crucial in preventing further strain on the shoulder joint. Your physiotherapist will provide guidance on maintaining proper posture and using ergonomic aids if necessary.
Home Exercise Program: To maximize the benefits of physiotherapy, you'll likely be given a home exercise program. Consistency is key, and performing these exercises regularly can significantly improve your recovery.
Education and Lifestyle Modifications: A good physiotherapist will educate you about your condition and provide guidance on lifestyle modifications to minimize the risk of recurrence.
Frozen shoulder can be a frustrating and painful condition, but with the right approach, you can regain mobility and reduce pain. Physiotherapy is an essential component of the treatment plan for frozen shoulder, offering a holistic approach that addresses pain relief, mobility restoration, and long-term prevention.
If you're experiencing symptoms of frozen shoulder, don't hesitate to book an Initial assessment with us at Vancity Physio. We will assess your condition, create a tailored treatment plan, and guide you on your journey to freedom from shoulder pain and stiffness. Remember, patience and consistency are key, and with the support of physiotherapy, you can look forward to a brighter, pain-free future.
Book an Assessment Today: https://vancityphysio.janeapp.com/