7 Best Frozen Shoulder Exercises & Stretches

Hi, I'm Doctor Jo, a licensed Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy. I hope you enjoy my video demos of stretches & exercises for common injuries and syndromes. Be safe. Have fun. And I hope you feel better soon.

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that causes stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint from adhesion build up. These stretches & exercises should help relieve frozen should pain.

For a frozen shoulder, signs and symptoms typically begin gradually, worsen over time and then resolve, usually within one to three years. Stretches and exercises can help speed up the recovery time.

First, using a pulley to help get your motion passively, can be very helpful. Since you are able to completely relax for the stretch, you can often get more motion.

The next stretches are called pendulums. For a frozen shoulder, using a small weight in your hand helps open up the shoulder joint. You can also rock front to back and side to side. It’s a great way to relax all your shoulder muscles.

A scapular or shoulder squeeze will help open up your chest area, and also strengthen your upper back muscles. You can add a resistive band by doing rows. Make sure you add the squeeze at the end.

One of the toughest motions is internal rotation behind your back. Using a towel to stretch, will get you much more motion.

If you have a Swiss (or stability) ball, using it to roll out your arm will not only stretch out your shoulder, but it can also work the stability of your shoulder. You can also do these slides on a table or counter top.

The last stretch is a shoulder flexion stretch using the ground for assistance. Get on the ground and sit on your feet in a child’s pose position. If you can’t get on the ground or your knees hurt too much to bend them, you can slide your arm on a table or countertop. You will slide your arm forward with your thumb facing upward towards the ceiling and lean your body forward until you feel a stretch.

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