Say Goodbye to Frozen Shoulder: Effective Physiotherapy Treatments and Home Exercises

Frozen Shoulder Pain Brisbane

Frozen shoulder, medically known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint, making it difficult to perform everyday activities. This blog post will delve into the causes, symptoms, and physiotherapy treatments for frozen shoulder, providing valuable insights and practical advice for those seeking relief. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain and searching for effective solutions, this guide is for you.

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is a condition characterised by the gradual onset of pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. It typically affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60, with a higher prevalence in women (Australian Physiotherapy Association, 2021). The condition progresses through three stages: freezing, frozen, and thawing, each with its distinct symptoms and duration.

Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of frozen shoulder is not well understood, but it often occurs after prolonged immobilisation, injury, or surgery. Risk factors include:

  • Age: Most common in people aged 40-60.
  • Gender: More frequent in women.
  • Health Conditions: Higher risk in individuals with diabetes or thyroid disorders (Mayo Clinic, 2023).

Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder progresses through three stages, each lasting several months:

  1. Freezing Stage: Gradual onset of pain and stiffness, worsening over time.
  2. Frozen Stage: Increased stiffness and reduced pain, with significant limitation in shoulder movement.
  3. Thawing Stage: Gradual improvement in range of motion and reduction in stiffness (WebMD, 2023).

Diagnosing Frozen Shoulder

Diagnosis involves a physical examination and may include imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI to rule out other conditions. A physiotherapist will assess your shoulder’s range of motion and identify specific limitations (Physiopedia, 2022).

How Physiotherapy Can Help

Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in managing frozen shoulder by:

  • Improving Mobility: Through targeted exercises designed to increase the range of motion.
  • Reducing Pain: Utilising manual therapy techniques to alleviate discomfort.
  • Enhancing Strength and Function: Implementing strength training exercises to support shoulder stability (American Physical Therapy Association, 2023).

Specific Physiotherapy Treatments

  • Manual Therapy: Techniques such as joint mobilisation and soft tissue manipulation can help reduce pain and improve shoulder mobility.
  • Stretching Exercises: Gentle stretching exercises tailored to your condition can gradually increase shoulder flexibility.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Exercises focusing on the rotator cuff and surrounding muscles to enhance shoulder stability and function (NHS, 2022).

Home Exercises and Tips

In addition to physiotherapy sessions, performing exercises at home can expedite recovery. Here are some recommended exercises:

Pendulum Stretches

  1. Lean forward and let your affected arm hang down.
  2. Gently swing your arm in small circles, gradually increasing the diameter.

Towel Stretches

  1. Hold a towel behind your back with one hand and grab the other end with your other hand.
  2. Gently pull the towel upward with your unaffected arm to stretch the shoulder.

Cross-Body Reach

  1. Use your unaffected arm to lift your affected arm at the elbow.
  2. Bring your affected arm across your body to stretch your shoulder.

These exercises should be performed daily, but it’s essential to do them gently to avoid further irritation (Healthline, 2023).


Early intervention and regular physiotherapy are key to recovering from frozen shoulder. By incorporating targeted physiotherapy treatments and consistent home exercises, you can alleviate pain, improve shoulder function, and return to your normal activities. If you’re experiencing symptoms of frozen shoulder, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with our experienced physiotherapists at Trilogy Physiotherapy in Sinnamon Park, Brisbane. Start your journey to pain-free movement today. Click here to book now!


  • American Physical Therapy Association. (2023). Frozen Shoulder: Adhesive Capsulitis. Retrieved from APTA
  • Australian Physiotherapy Association. (2021). Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder). Retrieved from APA
  • Healthline. (2023). Frozen Shoulder Exercises. Retrieved from Healthline
  • Mayo Clinic. (2023). Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis). Retrieved from Mayo Clinic
  • NHS. (2022). Frozen Shoulder. Retrieved from NHS
  • Physiopedia. (2022). Frozen Shoulder. Retrieved from Physiopedia
  • WebMD. (2023). Understanding Frozen Shoulder – Symptoms. Retrieved from WebMD

Read more….

To learn more about rotator cuff injuries, check out our blog HERE
To learn more about different types of shoulder pain check out our blog HERE
To learn more about the difference between rehab and prehab, check our our blog HERE

Frozen Shoulder Physio Brisbane:

Make an Appointment

Our team are ready and waiting to help you take the next step and get your quality of life back!

Take the first step with Trilogy Physiotherapy in Sinnamon Park, Brisbane, your 'physio near me'.

Trilogy Physiotherapy leverages evidence based therapy combined with innovative problem solving techniques - helping you get back to enjoying life, sooner!

Looking for Brisbane's best physiotherapists, massage therapists and dietitians near you? Look no further, click the button below to book now!