When you’re suffering from frozen shoulder, it can be difficult to focus on your normal life. Use these frozen shoulder exercises to help relieve your pain.
Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, is caused when the ligaments surrounding the shoulder thicken, immobilizing the joint. It is preceded by pain in the shoulder followed by stiffening before loosening again.
Doctors usually recommend medication and physical therapy for a frozen shoulder. On rare occasions, surgery is necessary to regain full range of motion.
In this article, you’ll discover five frozen shoulder exercises to alleviate your symptoms.
Doctors vary on frozen shoulder causes, but it usually affects women in their forties, people with diabetes, or those that have suffered a recent injury. It can take up to three years to fully recover from a frozen shoulder. The towel stretch is a low-intensity stretch that gently manipulates your affected arm with your strong arm.
Follow these steps to perform the towel stretch:
- Hang a towel over your head, behind your back with your mobile arm.
- Standing up straight, grab the towel behind your back with the affected arm.
- Gently pull the towel up with your mobile arm 8 to 10 times
- Repeat for 2 sets
You can perform this exercise twice a day. Your arm will feel stiff but you shouldn’t experience excess pain.
Low Lat/Trap Band Pulls
Low Lat/Trap pulls are a low-intensity exercise to build muscle strength using resistance bands. Studies show resistance bands can improve your overall muscle strength and balance making it ideal for elderly patients.
Your lats, or Latissimus Dorsi, is a large, triangular back muscle. It helps you extend your shoulders, perform pull-ups, breathe, and push/pull things. Your traps, or Trapezius muscle, help you move your shoulders, neck, and spine.
Follow these steps to perform low lat/trap band pulls:
- Start by attaching a long band to something that won’t move. You want it to be at waist height or slightly higher.
- Grip the band palms down on either end with your arms at your side and elbows straight. This is your starting position.
- Pull the resistance bands backwards in a smooth motion as if you want your shoulder blades to touch.
- Slowly bring your hands back to the starting position
- Repeat 10 times
Perform this exercise while standing up straight with knees slightly bent. Keep your chin at the neutral position with your core muscles engaged. Remember to breathe through the range of motion. Avoid shrugging your shoulders up or forward during reps. Perform this exercise twice a day.
Natural alternatives for frozen shoulder treatment combined with exercises like wall stretches are an effective way to restore range of motion.
Follow these steps to perform the wall stretch:
- Stand in an open doorway with two flat surfaces on either side
- Raise your arms above your head as far as they will go and bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
- Lean or step through the open doorway until you feel the stretch in your shoulders.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Repeat two more times
Only extend into the doorway as far as you can go safely. If you feel weak or if you are about to fall, use your legs for stability as you lean.
The elbow stretch is one many do without thinking after sitting for long periods of time. It’s a great exercise to help regain mobility in your shoulder.
Follow these steps to perform the elbow stretch:
- Standing with your back flat against a wall, raise your affected arm as high as you can across your chest. Bend your arm to a 90 or 45-degree angle.
- Using your mobile arm, grasp the affected arm’s elbow
- Pull gently toward your mobile shoulder until you feel the stretch in your affected shoulder. Keep the affected arm relaxed.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds and then release it for 30 seconds.
- Repeat 3 times.
With any stretch, you should feel it but it should not be painful. A little soreness is okay.
Wall Arm Raises
Wall arm raises are similar to elbow stretches and the wall stretch. Follow these steps to perform this exercise:
- Start with you back against the wall.
- Bend your knees slightly to ensure you are flush against the wall.
- Start with your arms straight at your sides, palms out.
- Slowly glide your knuckles along the wall like an angel until your arms are over your head, then slowly move back down to the start position. You want to maintain contact with the wall throughout the entire motion.
Repeat this exercise for 1 sets of 8-10 repetitions.
Thawing Out With Frozen Shoulder Exercises
Never perform exercises on injured body parts without first consulting your doctor. The purpose of these frozen shoulder exercises is to strengthen your shoulder muscles and loosen the thickened ligaments.
When you first begin these exercises you may not be able to lift your arms over your head. Repeat them daily to strengthen your shoulder muscles and encourage the ligaments to loosen.
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