Frozen Shoulder Physical Therapy
Your shoulder is one of the
most mobile joints within the body. Because it's very mobile, it is also very unstable. Most of the shoulder
movement occurs between the ball (humerus) and socket (glenoid). This loose shoulder joint is supported by strong
ligaments and muscles. If there are any dysfunction with any of these things, there will be problems with movement
Frozen shoulder is a painful
condition. There is no direct evidence how frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is caused. It occurs more
regularly with people who have a thyroid gland condition and diabetes. The way you can really test if you're
suffering with frozen shoulder is by performing a thorough physical examination. A x-ray image would show no bone
changes in your shoulder joint.
A physical therapist can
determine the best frozen shoulder treatment for you. During your first physical therapy examination, the therapist
will ask you to do certain shoulder movement.
The first movement will be the
active movement (movement that is performed with your own strength) and passive movement (the physiotherapist will
move the joint for you).
If you raise your shoulder at
less than 90-110 degrees and the passive movement of abduction (outward rotation of the shoulder) is 50% less than
the unaffected side, you may have frozen shoulder. In addition, passive and active internal rotation (moving your
arms inwards) is more limited than your unaffected side.
Your physical therapist would
then give you appropriate shoulder exercises for you. During the first stage of physical therapy, the goals of
treatment are to reduce pain and maintain range of movement. In the middle and later stages of frozen shoulder
treatment, the goals are to improve range of motion and improve muscle strength. A full exercise rehabilitation
program should be set up for you so you will get the best possible outcome.