Frozen shoulder (or adhesive capsulitis) is a condition where the shoulder is stiff, painful, and has limited movement in all directions. Exercises are usually the cornerstone of treatment. Physical therapists can help people control pain and stiffness, and restore movement in a safe way.
It’s helpful to warm up the shoulder before performing exercises. A hot shower or bath or heating pad is good. Then we use exercises to help with movement and strength. Your therapist might focus on stretches for the chest muscles and the back of the shoulder, external rotation stretches, and strengthening exercises are added to maintain muscle strength. Isometrics are exercises that require no joint movement and can be done without worrying about increasing pain in the shoulder.
Pictured is a patient performing a forward flexion isometric strengthening exercise.
1. Stand facing a wall.
2. Bend the elbow on the side of the shoulder you want to exercise and make a fist.
3. Place a folded towel between your fist and the wall, and gently press your hand into the wall.
4. Hold for five seconds, and then slowly release.
A Physical Therapist will help you to align your posture during this exercise in the most effective way for rehabbing your shoulder.
References for additional reading: