Physiotherapy for Shoulder

Shoulder joint is a complex joint formed by the upper arm bone (humerus) and the shoulder blade bone (scapula). It reinforced and supported by a wide range of muscles and ligaments. Considerably, the most mobile joint and is encapsulated in a sheath of connective tissue (shoulder joint capsule). Its structure and function is what makes it more prone to pain and injury.

Shoulder dysfunction is caused as a result of malfunctioning in any of these structures, ageing, degeneration, biomechanical barriers, overuse leading to inflammation and pain, overhead activities profusely in those involved in sports like tennis, swimming etc, and injury or direct trauma to the joint. The manifestations include pain, stiffness, restricted motion, reduced muscle strength and deduction in overall function. It is thus very crucial to adequately deliver exercises, not to stretch too much or too little, to overcome the symptoms.

Shoulder rehabilitation involves precise assessment, diagnosis and designing a protocol that suits the best and offers well being to the patient. Our physiotherapists offer a wide range of therapies that includes stretching, joint mobilization, relaxation, strengthening and to return to function regimes. Mobility i.e. range of motion restoration is the primary aim of the rehabilitation followed by conditioning of the muscles involved.

These presentations are seen in conditions like:

Frozen Shoulder
Rotator cuff Tendonitis/Tear
Shoulder Arthritis
Impingement syndrome
Shoulder dislocation (instability)

How will I know that I have frozen shoulder?

In the initial stages, there will be pain, which is constant and may be worse at night.

This is followed by difficulty moving. Most people experience difficulty in taking their arm behind their back (reaching for a wallet) or touching the top of their head. Raising your arm might be difficult.

What causes frozen shoulder?

Also called adhesive capsulitis, it happens when the structures around the shoulder joint become inflamed. They gradually get tighter and more painful, restricting movement. It is more common in those who are diabetic.

How long does frozen shoulder take to go away? 

If left alone, it can heal on its own in 1.5 to 2 years. This can be sped up with physiotherapy.

What does physiotherapy do for frozen shoulder?

  • Stretching exercises to increase the range and maintain flexibility.

  • Strengthening

  • Posture correction to prevent impingement.

  • Pain relief: Heat/ice or other electrotherapeutic modalities.

What can I do to make it heal faster?

  • Follow exercise as set by the physiotherapist.

  • Avoid performing strenuous or intense exercises using gym equipment by yourself.

  • Maintain good posture; avoid slouching and keep shoulders back.

  • Apply hot and cold packs as directed.

Do I need to wear a sling/brace for frozen shoulder?

Immobilizing the shoulder may worsen the condition. Please consult an expert first.