Human Performance and Rehabilitation Centers, Inc.

Frozen Shoulder

I just found out that I have a frozen shoulder. My friend said that therapy for this is very painful. Is that true?brycegaunt

Frozen shoulder is a painful condition in which the shoulder loses the ability to move normally.  Often, patients’ shoulders can be painful at night and also hurt when reaching overhead, behind their back, or in other extremes of motion such as putting on a jacket.  Some therapists do take a “no pain, no gain approach”. However, at the St. Francis Rehabilitation Center, in helping patients with this condition, we prefer the slogan “you don’t get a sore thumb better by hitting it with a hammer”.  While you will need to do exercises that gently move the shoulder, we carefully choose exercises that are friendly to your shoulder and teach you to perform them in a very comfortable manner that is NOT painful.  This gradually improves the movement in your shoulder while decreasing pain and inflammation.  Frozen shoulder can typically get better with exercises done primarily at home – only a few visits to see a therapist are usually necessary.  This approach is supported by multiple studies published in medical journals demonstrating that home based comfortable stretching guided by skilled therapists provides superior results compared to highly painful stretching.