How Effective Is Physiotherapy for Frozen Shoulder?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2019
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Physiotherapy can be quite effective for frozen shoulder, if performed under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Frozen shoulder can occur from various conditions such as tendinitis, arthritis or repetitive motion injuries, and may respond to manipulation therapy. Therapists also recommend various exercises in conjunction with massage therapy, which many individuals benefit from. In addition, heat and ice physiotherapy for frozen shoulder may be effective for some. Other patients find that physiotherapy for frozen shoulder is not as effective as the use of anti-inflammatory medications.

Various types of psychotherapy may heal, strengthen and restore motion lost due to injury or disease. When frozen shoulder occurs as a result of injury or disease, the inflamed area becomes immobile or stiff. Frozen shoulder may also cause significant pain. To facilitate healing, a patient may be prescribed physical therapy by his primary care physician.

Those suffering from the effects of a stroke may experience frozen shoulder. In this case, physiotherapy for frozen shoulder may help restore motion. The therapist may recommend stretching exercises to be performed in sets, or arm rotation techniques that may help the shoulder joint become less rigid. In addition, the use of therapeutic devices, such as upper body ergometers and resistance bands, may strengthen shoulders.


Physiotherapy for frozen shoulder often includes massage, which can be healing to injured tissue and tendons. Massage therapy performed by a professional therapist may help increase blood flow and circulation to injured tissue. In some cases, massage therapy may reverse the damage.

Many physical therapists recommend applying moist heat as an effective form of physiotherapy for frozen shoulder. While heat may not relieve the inflammation as well as ice, it may relieve pain for some individuals. Heat physiotherapy for frozen shoulder can be done with the use of a moist heating pad, either at a rehabilitation center or at home.

The use of professional equipment and therapeutic devices may also improve symptoms of frozen shoulder. Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to absorb energy in injured tissues. Many experts believe this is an effective method to repair damaged cells and restore function to the injured shoulder.

In addition to treatment provided by a licensed physiotherapist, there are guidebooks that teach various exercises for relieving symptoms of frozen shoulder. Some individuals may find these books to be helpful in managing their pain associated with this condition. Before beginning any method of self-treatment for frozen shoulder, it is best to seek the advice of a medical professional.


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