The Best Exercises For Frozen Shoulder Treatment

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The Best Exercises For Frozen Shoulder Treatment The Best Exercise For Frozen Shoulder Syndrome: Dealing With The Condition.

Frozen shoulder or stiff shoulder syndrome is a condition characterized by a severe discomfort and restricted mobility of the shoulder joints. The condition is medically known as adhesive capsulitis and it often associated with various factors, vascular conditions being among them.

Frozen shoulder syndrome will start with sharp pain even with minimal movement of the shoulder joints. The condition slowly progress to a stiff stage where the joints are relatively stiff with an impaired motion range that has minimal pain. Health experts suggest that exercising and massage treatment can help deal with the condition, more so by engaging workouts that focus on the should joints and muscles of the upper limbs. However, the affected will need to understand the causes of the problem so as to understand the impact the exercise will have in dealing with the frozen shoulder syndrome.

What Causes The Condition?

The syndrome starts with an swelling of the shoulder joint capsule that houses the shoulders ligaments, muscles, tendons, and ball and socket joint bones. The swelling will make any motion painful and uncomfortable thus limiting movement of the shoulder. Some of the known risk factors associated with stiff shoulder syndrome include recent shoulder injuries, aging, diabetes, and certain metabolic disorders.

Which Exercises Can Help Relieve Frozen Shoulder Pain?

Arm circle Exercises

It is one of the most common warm up exercises done to improve the range of motion before engaging in other forms of exercise. Moving the arms in circular motions can have almost immediate benefits since they involve the movement of the joints. For the activity, place your right hand on the right shoulder with the elbows pointing downwards and start making circular motions in the air. Do several sets with the first being in small circles and increase the size with each new set.

Do 20 circular motions with for each arm. Only do as much as your shoulder will allow as restriction on movement varies from person to person. Before and after exercising the arm it’s recommended to warm up the muscles. A gentle massage can be great before the process, while a deep tissue self massage will help relax the muscles after the workout. Performing a deep tissue massage from home by yourself is easy with the assistance of a quality massager for deep tissue performance.

Cross-Body Reach

It is a form of stretching exercise that focuses on the upper limbs. You need to stand for this exercises though you can still do it when seated. Take your good arm and use it to lift the affected one by the elbow as you bring it up and across your chest to the other side. Exert some pressure when stretching the injured shoulder stopping when you feel some resistance and holding that position for 30 seconds. Do this at least 10 times each day, it will improve the range of motion of our frozen shoulder.

Shoulder Abduction

It is a form of active-passive workout that helps to activate not only the joint but also restore its range of motion. You will need to attach a pulley to a stable place such as the door or wall) putting it as high as possible. Pull a chair against the door or wall and then grasp both ends of the pulley as you proceed to get seated. Be comfortable before you start pulling down the ends of the pulley, working the affected arm as an overhead support as you pull done the good arm to your side and extending and lifting the injured arm.


It is an exercise that enhances the motion of joint ligaments and muscles. You will need to stand upright with the legs apart with your hands clasped behind your back. Make sure your arms are very stable as you slowly raise them over your head. You will encounter some resistance and you should stop when you experience maximum resistance and hold that position for at least 30 seconds. Do this exercise for at least 10 minutes three times a day, it will improve the motion of your stiff shoulder.

Pendulum Stretch

You will need a table for support when doing this exercise. place the good arm on the table for support and you lean over with your affect arm relaxed and pointing to the floor. Start swing the arm in slow small circles doing around 10 revolutions in one direction before switching to the opposite direction. Then increase the size of the circular movements as well as the speed of the swing but avoid forcing the shoulders. You can use some light weights to increase intensity of the stretching exercises.

Wall Climbing

It is more of a recreational exercise but one that involves the use of your shoulders, arms, and feet. The climb will need synchronized motions of the upper limbs and the intensity of the exercise will see you engage in the workout for a longer period at a time. Since your will mostly concentrate on the climb, you will have no conscious perception of the function of the shoulders. Consider pausing with every new position you make when climbing and hold that position for 10 seconds before make the next step upwards.

Swimming Exercises Helps Frozen ShoulderSwimming With Frozen Shoulder

Swimming is also another recreational exercise that can help deal with frozen shoulder syndrome. Backstrokes, breaststrokes, and even freestyle swimming will involve the use of your arm and shoulders. The amount of freedom you may get from swimming will be determined by the severity of the frozen shoulder. Take little steps towards loosening up the joint day by day. Don’t rush into attempting to do a full swimming stroke if the pain is too unbearable.

Always Consult Your Doctor Before Performing Strenuous Exercises

Though frozen shoulder syndrome can be treated using surgical procedures and manipulations, exercises are the most efficient and helpful remedies for the condition. However, it is vital to seek medical attention if the exercises do not help with the problem.

Exercise daily with shoulder massaging tools (Foam Rollers) could be the relief you need. Foam Rollers are a great option for massaging Frozen Shoulder as they can be done without pushing your body into awkward and painful positions. As seen in the video below. However what works for some may not always work for others. So it’s a good idea to try massaging and exercising in different routines to find out what works best for you.


  1. Thanks for consolidating all this great info in one place. I was a massage therapist for many years and frozen shoulder is a terribly stubborn condition, especially for the clients that neglected their exercises at home. this is exactly the kind of resource I would want to pass onto them, because you do such a great job of laying out all the information.

    • HI Penelope, thanks for your kind words. If there are any more tips you know of on Frozen Shoulder exercises, please do share. Thanks.

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