Age and gender: Women, ages 40 and older, are more susceptible to frozen shoulder.
Immobilization: Prolonged immobility or reduced mobility—due to a rotator cuff injury, broken arm, stroke, or recovery from surgery—can increase risk. Following a prescribed exercise program shortly after injury or surgery can help prevent frozen shoulder.
Systemic diseases: These include diabetes, over- or under-active thyroid, cardiovascular disease, tuberculosis, and Parkinson’s disease.
Over-the-counter or prescribed medications to reduce pain and inflammation.
Physical therapy to learn range-of-motion exercises that help recover shoulder mobility.
For more stubborn symptoms, your physician may recommend steroid injections, joint distension, shoulder manipulation, or even surgery.
Frozen Shoulder and Physical Therapy
To successfully treat frozen shoulder, experts say that exercises and movement are essential. Your physical therapist will have you do some exercises during your session as well as create a home exercise program.
Shoulder active range-of-motion exercises, to help you use your arm normally and get your shoulder and rotator cuff muscles working again.
Isometric shoulder exercises, to strengthen the muscles around your shoulder. These can help improve the “neuromuscular recruitment” of your rotator cuff muscles.
Scapular stabilization exercises, to compensate for the limited motion in your shoulder joint.
(As always, never start an exercise program without talking to your PT first.)
You may also want to consider on-demand physical therapy. Instead of a painful drive to the clinic, your PT comes to you, when and where it’s most convenient. You’ll receive at least 45 minutes of one-on-one time with a board-certified PT, who can create an exercise program tailored to you and your environment. You’ll be more likely to adhere to your exercise program and complete your course of care.