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Frozen shoulder physiotherapy

The first thing to do though, is to work out if it really is a frozen shoulder

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Just call my London team on
0207 175 0150 or use the form below and let me help you get better.

Just call my London team on 0207 175 0150 or use the form here.
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Can physiotherapy help to heal a frozen shoulder?

Yes it can! There are many options that physios have when it comes to helping you, from physically treating the shoulder and the area surrounding it, to teaching you how to do it yourself. I can work out some good options to help you manage your life and sleep which means that your shoulder doesn’t take up too much time in your life.

Frozen shoulder treatment

The first thing to do though, is to work out if it really is a frozen shoulder, there are several other painful shoulder conditions that can mimic one. These range from a rotator cuff tear to a cartilage tear to a fracture; but it’s also possible for an apparently stiff shoulder to be compensating for an issue elsewhere in the body. Examples being, a stiff ribcage or a sore neck. We need to know what we’re dealing with before we can start treating it effectively.

Let’s be clear though, treating a frozen shoulder is not always a quick fix. Loosening a joint that feels as though it has been super-glued in place, is not fun, not easy, can be time consuming, arduous and repetitive. There will be a lot of work from the patient between physio sessions, with a lot of stretching needed in order to make progress. We cannot effectively treat frozen shoulder passively, unless you wanted to attend daily sessions.

What techniques do you use to treat a frozen shoulder?

If you’re at all familiar with the way I work, you might already have guessed that I have cherry-picked techniques from a lot of brilliant clinicians and tutors! I might not necessarily use all these techniques on every patient I see, I would choose a selection that are used regularly, where appropriate.

In a frozen shoulder therapy session there tends to be a fair amount of hands-on therapy, especially in the early stages, as this is the part you will struggle to do yourself at home. I will often be working on other areas of your body as well as the shoulder, as the shoulder has direct relationships with the ribcage, neck and elbow; and indirectly with a lot more of the body than that!

Stiff or painful areas will often cause or react to other stiff or painful areas, so I believe it’s important to treat other frozen shoulder pain areas, as well as the shoulder, so that the other areas stop triggering the shoulder pain and stiffness.

For more information on what exactly a frozen shoulder is and more in depth treatment information, read my frozen shoulder treatment blog here.

What is a frozen shoulder?

What’s really going on inside a frozen shoulder is actually still quite up for debate, though what essentially happens is the shoulder capsule appears to get tight and sticky. This will cause the joint to stiffen and then become sore when you attempt movement.

The pain is due to the many nerve endings that don’t like to be stretched. This then leads to surrounding muscles tending to go into spasm (our brains respond to all injuries in the same way (it might be broken/unstable, I must immobilise it). Gradually this can move down the body which can stiffen up, along with the shoulder joint.

Who will get frozen shoulder?

To give it a proper name, adhesive capsulitis (more commonly known as frozen shoulder), is a condition that will affect between 2-5% of the population over the course of a lifetime.

Generally, it will affect more women than men, and is especially common after the menopause. It is slightly more common to get the condition in your non-dominant shoulder. However, if you are unlucky enough to have been affected by adhesive capsulitis in both of your shoulders, it is very unlikely you’ll have this in both shoulders at once.

 

Frozen shoulder physio assessments are 90 minutes

Follow-up sessions if required are usually an hour – it’s important to me to be very thorough when it comes to your frozen shoulder physiotherapy, as I want to be the last shoulder physiotherapist you need.

Frozen Shoulder & Shoulder Pain Treatment - Client reviews

"My appointment with Nell was an absolute delight! She is thorough, detailed, hugely knowledgeable, effective and has a brilliant manner. I walked out of the appointment with my shoulder pain gone in a single session, feeling very relaxed and with advice on how to manage any reoccurring issues. She came highly recommended by friends and I would not hesitate to return to her for any physio needs in the future."
Chantal Younis
"Nell did what other physios and osteos couldn't — fix my shoulder, which had been sitting in the wrong place for about 15 years! If you have any doubt about booking with Nell, just do it — she's worth every penny."
Bryony
"Nell is one of the best physio in the UK. She has been treating my shoulder problem. Nell is an excellent physio who understands and feels your pain and will make sure that she fixes your body with care. Although through covid has been difficult for everyone, she has been doing a home visit to help with my shoulder pain. I can't recommend Nell enough she is Amazing. "
Suad Mahamed

Frozen shoulder blogs and related information

As a leading shoulder physiotherapist in central London, I regularly write about injuries, treatment and assessment techniques.

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