Exercises to thaw a frozen shoulder and relieve pain

Frozen shoulder pain can be annoying and keep you out of action for weeks to months. Here are few exercises to hasten the healing process

frozen shoulder, man with pain in shoulder

In my practice as a yoga trainer I’ve seen my share of clients with frozen shoulder and almost all of them have experienced 60 – 70 % relief after regular practice of specific exercises. As the name suggests, in this condition, shoulder becomes stiff and movement in all directions becomes painful. Even assisted movement, with the help of someone else, is painful.  The pain may set in gradually or develop all of a sudden. Frozen shoulder is more commonly seen in people with diabetes, thyroid disorders or parkinsonism. It could happen even in people who do not have these diseases.

Here are some exercises for frozen shoulder

Initially exercises are done very gently within the limit of pain, as pain improves the frequency and duration of exercises is increased. The application of hot pack after exercises will make the exercises more tolerable.

Pendulum Movement

Pendulum movement

Stand and lean over forward, letting your arm to hang down. Keep the normal arm supported on a chair. Move your affected arm in a small circle, clock and anti-clockwise. Repeat 10-20 times in each direction. As your symptoms improve, increase diameter of your circle but don’t do forcefully.

Finger walk

Finger walk

Stand facing a wall, such that when you stretch your hand your finger can comfortably touch the wall. Touch the wall at waist level with the fingertips of the affected arm, keeping your elbow slightly bent. Slowly walk your fingers up the wall until you’ve raised your arm as far as you can comfortably. Now start lowering the arm. Repeat this 10 to 20 times. This slow and controlled movement of the shoulder joint can help to thaw a frozen shoulder.

Shoulder elevation

Shoulder Elevation

Lie down on your back. Clasp both the hands together in front of the body, then slowly elevate your hands keeping the elbows straight. Elevate your hands to the point where you feel slight pain. Slowly lower down. Repeat this movement for a minimum of 10-20 times.