Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a distressing cause of shoulder discomfort that may last for extended periods. Pain and stiffness can manifest if the shoulder capsule becomes inflamed and fibrotic adhesions restrict shoulder mobility.

Medical professionals are still debating what causes frozen shoulder and what treatments are most effective. People between the ages of 40 and 60 and those suffering from hypothyroidism, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome have the most significant risk of experiencing frozen shoulder.

Frozen shoulder is entirely incapacitating, has a frustratingly lengthy duration, and needs physiotherapy treatment. This article will go over what you need to know about frozen shoulder and how physiotherapy might assist in your recovery.

Determining Symptoms and Signs of a Frozen Shoulder

It’s easy to confuse a frozen shoulder with a rotator cuff injury and vice versa, which is why it’s critical to consult a physiotherapist as soon as possible. The inability to reach over shoulder height, throw a ball, reach behind your back, clasp a bra, tuck a shirt, sleep or lay on your side are all examples of common issues linked with frozen shoulder.

Breaking Down Frozen Shoulder’s 3 Distinct Stages

Frozen shoulder symptoms may be classified into three stages: freezing, frozen and thawing. Each stage is accompanied by a set of symptoms reflecting the condition’s severity.

  • Freezing Stage

You will feel excruciating pain and stiffness in the early stages of a frozen shoulder. This is the stage at which your shoulder is not entirely frozen but is beginning to harden and solidify. Although this is a lengthy period of suffering, harsh therapies are not advised at this time. Instead, taking anti-inflammatory medication will be your best chance for pain relief.

  • Frozen Stage

The transition from the freezing to the frozen stage may be unpleasant, but the most prominent feature of the frozen stage is the inability to move your shoulder. Physiotherapy may be beneficial in increasing your range of motion if you have a frozen shoulder at this stage. However, you can typically discontinue pain relief treatments at this time. The frozen stage might last anywhere from 9 to 15 months.

  • Thawing Stage

It takes around 30 months for the typical person to go through all three phases of frozen shoulder. The thawing phase may continue anywhere from 15 to 24 months, with physiotherapy being the most effective treatment method during the third stage. The range of motion in your shoulder will begin to restore, and your frozen shoulder will start to “thaw.”

Receiving Frozen Shoulder Treatment

The treatment for frozen shoulder differs depending on what stage you’re experiencing. If you are at the freezing stage, your primary treatment options will be pain management, including medication or corticosteroid injections. You may also choose to take preventative actions at this point to avoid aggravating the situation.

When the shoulder is frozen, mild and highly specialised peri arthritic shoulder exercises are the most effective course of action. The fact that overdoing it might make your frozen shoulder worse makes working with a physiotherapist very crucial at this stage of the recovery process.

When treating frozen shoulder at the frozen stage, some massage treatments (which your physiotherapist should also conduct) might be beneficial as a therapeutic option.

The most effective therapy choices for your shoulder during the thawing period are shoulder mobilisation and strengthening workouts for your shoulder. Working with a physiotherapist is essential once again to ensure that you are making safe progress towards recovery.

Shoulder surgery is an additional treatment option for the frozen shoulder when physiotherapy could not alleviate the condition. After post-capsular surgery for a frozen shoulder, it is common for patients to need physiotherapy throughout the recovery period.


Frozen shoulder is among the most debilitating health issues that people might experience for various reasons. The discomfort and stiffness might interfere with their sleep, everyday activities, and mood.

This is why patients may worry that unintentional movements would exacerbate their discomfort and delay their recovery. Fortunately, it’s possible to recover by getting the proper treatment. Eventually, you’ll progress through the stages and find relief. Frozen shoulder treatment has been demonstrated to speed up healing time considerably when done with a physiotherapist.

At Invigor Health, we believe that holistic treatments are beneficial since they bring long-term advantages. We provide physiotherapy services that relieve pain and prepare your body for the future to make you feel physically healthy, active, and pain-free. If you want to receive affordable physiotherapy in Bondi for your shoulder pain, contact us today!

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