Understanding Frozen Shoulder: Causes, Symptoms, and Physiotherapy & Chiropractic Solutions

Frozen shoulder, otherwise known as Adhesive Capsulitis, is a debilitating condition that can severely limit mobility and cause significant discomfort. Both conditions are characterised by stiffness, pain, and restricted movement in the affected joints, making daily activities challenging. 

frozen shoulder anatomy

However, here at Spinal and Sports Care, with the right understanding and approach, we can assist you with managing and alleviating the symptoms of this condition to get you back to your full potential. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the causes, symptoms, and physiotherapy and chiropractic solutions for frozen shoulder, empowering individuals to take proactive steps towards recovery and improved quality of life. 

The 3 Stages Of Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder often develops gradually and progresses through three distinct stages: 

  1. Freezing Stage: In this stage, individuals experience a gradual onset of pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. As the condition progresses, the range of motion becomes increasingly limited.
  2. Frozen Stage: During this stage, the pain may begin to diminish, but the stiffness and restricted movement in the shoulder joint worsen. Simple tasks such as reaching overhead or behind the back become challenging. 
  3. Thawing Stage: In the third and final stage, the shoulder gradually begins to regain mobility, and the pain subsides. However, full recovery can take months to years. 


What Causes Frozen Shoulder?

The exact cause of frozen shoulder is not always clear, but certain factors may increase the risk of developing this condition, including: 

  • Injury or trauma to the shoulder 
  • Prolonged immobilisation of the shoulder joint, such as after surgery or injury 
  • Diabetes 
  • Thyroid disorders 
  • Autoimmune diseases  

Physiotherapy Solutions For Frozen Shoulder 

Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the management and treatment of Adhesive Capsulitis. A tailored physiotherapy program can help improve mobility, reduce pain, and prevent further deterioration of the affected joints in all three phases of the condition. 

physiotherapy for frozen shoulder

Physiotherapy Treatment includes: 

  • Range of motion exercises: Gentle stretching and range of motion exercises can help improve flexibility and mobility in the shoulder joint. 
  • Strengthening exercises: Targeted exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder can help stabilise the joint and improve function. 
  • Manual therapy: Techniques such as massage and joint mobilisation performed by a physiotherapist can help alleviate pain and improve joint mobility. 
  • Modalities: Modalities such as heat therapy, cold therapy, and ultrasound may be used to reduce pain and inflammation in the shoulder joint.  

Chiropractic Care For Frozen Shoulder

Chiropractic care focuses on restoring joint mobility and function to the musculoskeletal system, including the spine and peripheral joints like the shoulder. Chiropractic treatment for frozen shoulder may include: 

  • Spinal Adjustment: Adjustments to the spine can help improve joint mobility and reset communication between the brain and the shoulder joint, promoting healing and reducing pain. 
  • Soft Tissue Therapy: Techniques such as myofascial release and trigger point therapy target tight muscles and connective tissues in the shoulder and surrounding areas, reducing tension and promoting relaxation. 
  • Rehabilitation Exercises: Chiropractors may prescribe specific exercises to improve posture, strengthen supportive muscles, and enhance overall shoulder function. 
  • Lifestyle Advice: Chiropractors may provide guidance on ergonomics, posture correction, and lifestyle modifications to prevent future shoulder issues and support long-term healing. 

chiropractic care for frozen shoulder

Secure The Treatment You Need With Spinal & Sports Care!

Frozen shoulder can be a challenging condition to manage, but with the right combination of physiotherapy and chiropractic care, relief is within reach. By addressing the underlying causes of shoulder pain and stiffness and implementing targeted interventions, individuals can experience improved mobility, reduced pain, and enhanced quality of life. 

If you’re struggling with frozen shoulder, consider consulting with a physiotherapist and chiropractor to develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your needs. Reach out to our physiotherapists and chiropractors at Spinal & Sports Care today to receive the care and support you need to address your frozen shoulder.