7 Pain Relief Exercises For Frozen Shoulderpost by Dr Raman Kant Aggarwal on 14 May 2019 ‘Adhesive Capsulitis’, more commonly known as “frozen shoulder” is a condition that is known to limit the movement of shoulder as it becomes painful and stiff. As a result of this, movements can get restricted in some directions. It might develop as a result of injury, overuse or as a collateral effect to diseases like diabetes or even stroke which forms scar tissues. This condition takes time to get diagnosed and goes away even more slowly.
1. Arm circle
It is one of the most common fitness exercises that are advised often to athletes so as to improve the overall range of motion.
● Place either of your hand on the corresponding shoulder and make small circles in the air.
● Begin by making small circles and gradually increase the radius and circumference of the circle by using elbow joint as the focus.
● After making at least 18-20 clockwise circles, make 18-20 counter- clockwise circles as well.
● Repeat the activity with the other side.
2. Cross body stretch:
This frozen shoulder exercise can be performed in either a sitting or in a standing position. Choose what makes you feel comfortable and bring the arm across the chest to the other side with the help of the other arm. In extreme cases, you can make a fist to push the affected arm from the elbow. It is necessary to hold this position for 10-15 seconds for optimum results.
3. Back Clasp
Back clasp is another common exercise that aims primarily at improvement of the flexibility of shoulder muscles. It ensures pain-free movements and restoration of full range of motion.
● Stand straight with your legs wide apart.
● Next step is to use your hands and clasp on your back.
● Stabilize your arm and slowly raise those arms over your head.
● Stop the arm movement at the point of maximum resistance and hold your position for 30 seconds. Repeat in sets of three for best results.
4. Pendulum Stretch
This one is easy and simple to perform. Ensure that your shoulders are in a relaxed state. Find a support, like a table. Now stand and lean slightly, and allow the arm (affected arm) to hang down. Now it is supposed to be swung in a small circle. The diameter needs to be small, no bigger than a foot. Perform 10-15 revolutions in each direction, once a day.
As you get comfortable in doing it, you should increase the no. of revolutions done along with the diameter of each swing. Never force the movements and once you start observing receding symptoms, you might increase the load on the arm by holding a light weight.
5. Finger Walk
This exercise gets the little tissues and muscles that connect through the shoulder in motion. At 3 quarters of an arm distance, face a wall, extend your arm and touch the wall at waist-level height with the fingertips of the arm which is affected with frozen shoulder. Keeping the elbow slightly bent in a V, slowly walk your fingers up along the wall, just the way you used to play as children.
Keep walking the fingers till you’ve raised your arm as far as you can without causing any pain. Do not try to exert any more pressure on yourself. Try shifting the pressure of the shoulder muscles to the fingers as frequently as possible. Lower the arm and repeat this exercise with both arms around 15-20 times in a day.
6. Doorway external rotation:
Standing in the middle of a door frame, bend the problematic arm at 90 degrees and make grab the edge of the door frame keeping your body far from it. Move your body forwards and backwards in the doorframe. The above stated exercise forms only a part of physiotherapy treatments for frozen shoulder.
7. Armpit Stretch
The aim of this exercise is to stretch the muscles around the armpit of the affected arm. If you need support of the good arm, lift the affected arm onto the shelf about breast-high. Open the armpit by bending your knees. To stretch further, deepen the bending of your knee slightly and then return it to the original position. With each movement, the muscles near the armpit tend to stretch a little, increasing the flexibility.