Physical Therapy for Frozen Shoulder: Help Melt Your Pain Away

Physical Therapy for Frozen Shoulder: Help Melt Your Pain Away hover background

Jul 16

Relieve Your Frozen Shoulder Pain with Physical Therapy

A frozen shoulder is not easily shrugged off. Frozen shoulder is characterized by pain and loss of motion of the shoulder joint and affects between two and five percent of people in their lifetime.

The exact cause is unknown, but research shows that the process begins with the inflammation of the joint lining within the shoulder. As time goes on, this area thickens and the shoulder becomes more painful and stiff. When the shoulder joint stiffens, range of motion is lost.  Frozen shoulder often affects sleep and common daily activities.

Physical therapy for frozen shoulder involves stretching the joint while in a controlled environment. Working with a physical therapist will help to break up any scar tissue that has formed and reduce stiffness from immobility. With an exercise program designed for you by your physical therapist, the frozen shoulder may begin to “melt” and your original strength may return.  Shoulder exercises will help to loosen up the tightened muscles to get your shoulder moving again.

A frozen shoulder progresses through three different stages:

  1. Painful Stage—the shoulder is very painful at rest and with use.  The shoulder gradually will stiffen and this stage lasts about four to nine months.
  2. Frozen Stage—this stage can last for 12 months, and the shoulder is very stiff and painful with movement but not when at rest.
  3. Thawing Stage—during the thawing stage, motion will slowly return to the shoulder after several months.  The entire course of a frozen shoulder can last 12-24 months until getting back to normal mobility and being pain-free.

If you are suffering from a frozen shoulder, schedule an appointment today with one of our experienced physical therapists to find relief.

Learn more about physical therapy and how it can help recovery after rotator cuff surgery here.


Queen Creek Location
21321 E. Ocotillo Rd., Suite 122
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Ph: 480.987.1870
F: 480.987.9289

3201 W. Peoria Ave., Suite D800
Phoenix, AZ 85029
Ph: 602.866.2231
F: 602.866.2261