Stronger, More Flexible, Pain-Free Readers

... tips and exercises from our Award Winning Physio

My name is Natalie March from Physio-logical, a Chartered Physiotherapist based within My Fitness Hub, Havant and in Rowlands Castle in the PO9 postcode areas.

Today’s subject is “I have shoulder pain, is it a frozen shoulder or not?”

Here are testimonials from two of our clients who had shoulder pain:

“After 6 months of not having full movement in my shoulder I visited Physio-logical. 5 sessions later it’s like I never had the problem and no pain at all. Highly recommend.”  (Mr. A)

“I had a bad shoulder as a result of a fall whilst skiing. I left it for several months hoping it would get better on its own, it didn’t. A friend ( a healthcare professional ) suggested I see Natalie and ask her opinion. Natalie understood exactly my issue, I had a few physio sessions and Natalie also suggested some changes to my own workout regime in order to strengthen the muscles in the shoulder area. In a relatively short space of time my shoulder returned to 100%. Any future issues and I will seek Natalie’s advice immediately. Great job Natalie, Thank you.” (Mr. M)

Frozen Shoulder
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint normally associated with a wide range of movement.  It is surrounded by a soft tissue capsule which encases the joint and holds in the lubricating fluid.  This capsule is usually very loose to allow freedom of movement in all directions.  However, in a frozen shoulder the capsule initially becomes inflamed and then contracts.  This decreases the joint volume and results in varying degrees of pain and loss of movement for the sufferer.

The symptoms were described as far back as 1872 and the term ‘frozen shoulder’ has been used for over 80 years.  However, only through research over the last 20 years do we now know what it actually is.  Unfortunately, we still do not know why it happens.  What is generally agreed is that frozen shoulder has broadly three phases starting with pain, followed by stiffness and then slowly resolving in a ‘thawing’ phase.  The length of each phase varies and there is considerable overlap of phases but total duration of the condition averages 18 months to 3 years.  However, some can experience problems for much longer.

All bad news so far then!  So, how can we help you with your frozen shoulder at Physio-logical?

Our treatment decisions (which we will make together) depend on whether pain or stiffness is your main problem.

Where does your shoulder fit in?

Pain is my main problem
The aim of treatment is to decrease your pain and maintain or improve your movement.  This may involve advice, gentle exercises, low level joint or soft tissue techniques and/or acupuncture.  Aggressive painful stretching at this stage can prolong your problem (and it’s not a pleasant experience!).  If you are not sleeping and/or have significant pain at rest which isn’t helped by medication, you may be advised to see a specialist to consider a steroid injection.  If this is the case we can point you in the right direction as we have quick access to these services.  When pain is the main problem the aim is to progress you to the point where stiffness is your main problem.

Stiffness is my main problem
The good news is that if your shoulder is here it is unlikely that you will go backwards.  However, it doesn’t mean that you will have no pain!  Pain may still be associated with certain movements and stretches but this stage allows a more active approach to your treatment.  This may involve more intense, prolonged stretching, exercise and joint mobilisation with your physiotherapist and at home.  Certain manual techniques have been proven to increase movement in a relatively short time period.

If you have a frozen shoulder we can help you by;

  • Giving you an accurate diagnosis and explanation of the problem and its natural course.
  • Working with you on a course of treatment including self-management strategies whilst monitoring results.
  • Referring you to a shoulder surgeon at your request if your problem requires further investigation or intervention.

Self Help Exercises
Please be aware of your body and take advice from your GP before exercising or send an email to ( for advice and guidance.

Pendulum - This is a good exercise to start to get the shoulder moving

  • Lean forwards with support
  • Let your arm hang down
  • Swing your arm
    • forwards and back
    • side to side
    • around in circles both ways
  • Repeat each movement ten times, three times a day.
  • Rotate your arm Out (Lateral Rotation) - This movement becomes very restricted with a frozen shoulder
  • Rotate your arm out
  • To increase the movement further push with unaffected arm so hand of problem side is moving away from the mid-line
  • Do not let your body twist round to compensate
  • Repeat ten times, last one hold for thirty seconds, three times a day

Shoulder Assisted Elevation

  • Support problem arm with other hand and lift it up overhead
  • Do not let your back arch
  • Repeat ten times, last one hold for thirty seconds, three times a day

If any of the above sounds familiar or if you suffer from shoulder pain then we can help you here at Physio-logical in Havant and Rowlands Castle.

We all regularly see patients with a wide range of shoulder pain and symptoms.

Call our clinic today on 07835 712306 to find out more about how our team of experienced physiotherapists, sports therapist and soft tissue therapists can help.

Alternatively you can get in contact with us via  or book online at

YouTube: We have a new YouTube channel where we are sharing videos of different exercises, we would love you to subscribe to our channel -… If you would like us to write a blog, newsletter, article or film a video about a specific condition/complaint then please do let us know.

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Posted on Wed, 17/04/2019 - 18:24