Can Physiotherapy Help with Frozen Shoulder?

by Jun 21, 2023Health and Wellness, Physiotherapy

Do you have a Frozen Shoulder? We can help!
Book an appointment with our Physiotherapists in Port Coquitlam.

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that occurs when the ligaments that hold the shoulder joint in place tighten due to inflammation, resulting in restricted movement. The condition typically progresses through three stages, with the first stage involving pain during shoulder movement, the second stage involving reduced pain but increased stiffness, and the third stage involving decreased stiffness and gradually returning range of motion.

woman with frozen shoulder, physiotherapist manual therapy

What is the cause of Frozen Shoulder?

While the exact cause of frozen shoulder is unknown, people with diabetes, thyroid problems, and those who have had shoulder surgery are at increased risk of developing the disorder. In many cases, frozen shoulder can be identified based on a person’s symptoms, but in some situations, an X-ray, MRI, or other imaging exams may be necessary to rule out other problems.

What treatment is best for Frozen Shoulder?

Physical therapy is the primary treatment for frozen shoulder, and it involves exercises to help restore the shoulder’s range of motion and mobility. More than 90% of cases of frozen shoulder go away with physical therapy and time, but it may take up to a year to regain full shoulder function. Pain in the first stage of frozen shoulder can typically be managed with nonprescription anti-inflammatory medications, but if pain and stiffness are significant, a corticosteroid injection into the joint may be recommended.
If stiffness persists beyond a full course of physical therapy or gets significantly worse during physical therapy, surgery may be needed to release the tight ligaments and remove scar tissue that may contribute to the problem. Physical therapy is still necessary after surgery to prevent frozen shoulder from returning.

Can Frozen Shoulder return again?

While it is uncommon for frozen shoulder to return in the same shoulder after successful treatment, some patients may develop it in the other shoulder. Treating underlying medical issues that put people at risk for frozen shoulder may decrease the likelihood of developing the condition.

Looking for personalized treatment for your Frozen Shoulder?
Book an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists in Port Coquitlam!