Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder Stages

Frozen shoulder typically follows three distinct stages, depending on what stage you are will affect the approach to treatment.

1. Freezing

Pain relieving techniques including gentle shoulder mobilization, muscle releases, acupuncture, dry needling and kinesiology taping for pain-relief can assist during this painful inflammation phase. Intracapsular corticosteroid injection is considered when pain is unbearable.

It is important not to aggravate a frozen shoulder during this phase, which is unfortunately a side effect of an overzealous practitioner.

2. Frozen

Shoulder joint mobilization and stretches, muscle release techniques, acupuncture, dry needling and exercises to regain range and strength are useful for a prompt return to function. Care must be taken not to introduce any exercises that are too aggressive. 

Overenthusiastic treatment can aggravate your capsular synovitis and subsequently pain. A quality shoulder physiotherapist will know how much is enough and how much is too much.

3. Thawing

Shoulder mobilization and stretches are your best chance of a prompt return to full shoulder movement. As your range of motion increases your physiotherapist will be able to provide you with strengthening exercises to control and maintain your newly found range of movement.


Treatment involves working to maintain and increase both passive and active range of motion through manual therapy and specific exercises. Working with the stabilizing muscles, your physiotherapist will also work on muscle balance and patterning. Depending on cause and severity, mobilization of the thoracic spine through manual therapy may also be beneficial. Your physiotherapist may also work with you to help you modify your activities or provide recommendations for modification at work and at home.

Because the stages of frozen shoulder are well-defined, recovery should be gradual with a slow, steady progress over time with the help of you physiotherapist.

Physiotherapy can Help

Physiotherapy's benefits include reducing pain, improving joint mobility, increasing strength, coordination and improved recovery. Everyone can benefit from physiotherapy, whether you are recovering from a work related injury, a car accident, managing a chronic condition or a sports related strain.

Our Physiotherapists are highly experienced with treating many types of shoulder issues from many causes and employ a wide range of specialized techniques to help you reduce and recover from your back pain.

If you want to find out more about how we can help call 1 877 755 7166 to book an assessment.

To Book a Free Consultation Call 1 877 755 7166