Struggling With Shoulder Pain and Movement Restriction?

Frozen Shoulder aka Adhesive Capsulitis is the common source of shoulder pain. Essentially it means that shoulder capsule surrounding the joint is inflamed (capsulitis).
As the body tries to heal itself, fibrous tissue surrounds the shoulder joint resulting in stiffness and restriction of movement.

Common Symptoms Include:

  • Unable to sleep on your side
  • Difficulty reaching for objects above shoulder height
  • Pain on reaching behind your back – bra strap
  • A struggle to reach out to the side
  • Unable to quickly reach out

Frozen Shoulder Explained:

Frozen shoulder has Three Stages, and each have their own symptoms:
Stage 1: Freezing or Painful Stage

Stage one is often characterised by pain and reduced of shoulder movement. The shoulder capsule is inflamed and this stage can last between 3-9 months. Treatment should not be aggressive and controlling pain is the main objective.

Stage 2: Frozen or Stiffness Stage 

Pain may begin to diminish during this stage. However, your shoulder becomes stiffer, and using it becomes more difficult. This stage is commonly 9-15 months. Treatment to maintain shoulder range of movement is paramount.

Stage 3: Thawing 

This is the final stage and range of motion in your shoulder begins to improve. This stage can last between 15-24 months.


Risk Factors- Who Is likely to Suffer From Frozen Shoulder?:

There are a number of predisposing risk factors:
  • Shoulder trauma
  • Shoulder surgery
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Inflammatory Conditions

What Can Be Done For Frozen Shoulder?

Treatment for Frozen Shoulder should correspond the stage of the condition.


As mentioned previously, controlling pain is the main agenda at this stage. Secondary pain from muscle tightness can also occur due to increased tension, pain and reduced shoulder movement. Physiotherapy can therefore help with such issues along side medication.

  • Pain relief from your doctor
  • Corticosteroid Injection performed by your doctor
  • Physiotherapy –
    • Prescribed gentle range of movement exercises
    • Dry Needling/ Medical Acupuncture
    • Taping
    • Manual therapy/ Massage techniques
    • Electrotherapy


Care must be taken not to progress exercises too quickly or aggressively. Your Physiotherapist will be able to determine which exercises are suitable for you.
Continued muscle release techniques, medical acupuncture, taping and passive stretching are very important at this stage to regain strength and range.


At this stage physiotherapy is most effective for a quicker and prompt return to daily activities and full range of movement. Your physiotherapist will be able to progress your exercises further and increase manual shoulder mobilisation techniques.


If you are unsure about any of the above information, please do not hesitate to contact The Physio Practice before self diagnosing.
Speak with a Charted Physio Today and start your road to recovery.