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Physiotheraphy Treatment for Frozen Shoulder_ Synapse
Shoulder Pain

Introduction :Physio treatment for frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a painful and debilitating condition that affects the shoulder joint, limiting its range of motion. Individuals experiencing frozen shoulders often find their daily activities compromised due to stiffness and pain. For people who are suffering from this condition, symptoms may develop suddenly and have a slow recovery phase. Recovery may take up to 2 or 3 years. Fortunately, there are a range of effective physio treatments for frozen shoulders to alleviate symptoms and restore shoulder function. At Synapse Physiotherapy, we will be able to help address these symptoms and help you recover to full health.

Understanding Frozen Shoulder:

Frozen shoulder develops gradually, typically in three stages. The first stage is the freezing stage, where individuals experience increasing pain with movement. This stage can last from a few weeks to 9 months. The second stage is the frozen stage, marked by reduced mobility and increased stiffness, this can last from 4 to 12 months. The final stage, the thawing stage, involves a gradual improvement in shoulder mobility. This usually lasts from 12 to 42 months.


There are no known causes of frozen shoulder however individuals with certain risk factors are more prone to suffer from frozen shoulder. These risk factors are diabetes, stroke, thyroid disorder, prolonged immobilisation, shoulder injury, and Parkinson’s disease. People aged 40 and older, particularly women are also more likely to be at risk of getting frozen shoulder.


Some symptoms of a frozen shoulder to look out for would be unexpected pain in the shoulder not resulting from an injury, difficulty lifting the arm above the head and extending your arm across the body, or in general any arm movement that feels restricted and in pain.

Physiotherapy and Its Role:

Undoubtedly, physiotherapy plays a crucial role in managing a frozen shoulder. Here at Synapse Physiotherapy, we aim to reduce pain, increase range of motion, and enhance overall shoulder function. Our professionally trained physiotherapists employ a variety of techniques, exercises, and modalities to achieve these goals. The following are some of the treatment techniques and exercises that are carried out by our physiotherapists:

Passive Range of Motion (PROM) Exercises:

Passive range of motion exercises involve a therapist gently moving the patient’s arm through various motions. This helps maintain flexibility and prevent further stiffness. PROM exercises are particularly beneficial in the painful and early frozen stages of shoulder dysfunction.

Active Range of Motion (AROM) Exercises:

As pain decreases and the shoulder begins to thaw, active range of motion exercises become crucial. Patients are encouraged to perform controlled movements on their own, gradually improving their ability to move the shoulder. These exercises are designed to restore strength and flexibility.

Stretching Exercises:

Stretching exercises target the muscles and connective tissues around the shoulder joint. Stretching helps improve flexibility and reduce stiffness. Therapists may incorporate wall stretches, pendulum exercises, and towel stretches to address specific areas of tightness.

Strengthening Exercises:

Strengthening the muscles surrounding the shoulder is essential for restoring function. Therapists design tailored exercise programs that focus on progressively building strength. Resistance bands, dumbbells, and bodyweight exercises may be utilised to target specific muscle groups.

Joint Mobilisation:

Joint mobilisation involves the therapist gently moving the joint in specific directions to improve its mobility. This technique helps reduce stiffness and enhances the shoulder’s range of motion. It is often used in conjunction with other exercises to optimise results.

Heat and Cold Therapy:

Applying heat or cold to the affected shoulder can relieve pain and inflammation. Heat therapy helps relax muscles and increase blood flow, while cold therapy helps reduce swelling. Therapists may recommend alternating between these modalities based on the individual’s needs.

Ultrasound Therapy:

Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to stimulate deep tissues and promote healing. It can be effective in reducing pain and inflammation associated with a frozen shoulder. Therapists may incorporate ultrasound as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Electrical Stimulation:

Electrical stimulation, such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), can be employed to alleviate pain. By sending low-level electrical currents through the skin, this technique disrupts pain signals and provides relief. It is often used in combination with other therapeutic interventions.

Home Exercise Programmes:

To ensure continuity of care, our physiotherapists will prescribe home exercise programs. These programs are designed to empower individuals to continue their rehabilitation independently. Consistent engagement with prescribed exercises contributes significantly to the success of physiotherapy treatment.


Frozen shoulder can be a challenging condition, but with the right physiotherapy interventions, individuals can experience significant improvement in pain and mobility. The key to successful treatment lies in early intervention and a tailored approach to address each patient’s specific needs. Whether through targeted exercises, modalities, or a combination of therapies, physiotherapy offers a path to unfreezing mobility and restoring the joy of pain-free shoulder movement. If you suspect you have frozen shoulder symptoms, come to Synapse Physiotherapy for a consultation today with a qualified physiotherapist and take a crucial step towards a comprehensive and effective treatment plan to tackle your frozen shoulder problem.