Frozen Shoulder Exercise – Pictures Don’t Show All

There are many frozen shoulder exercise pictures floating around the internet showing various stretches and strengthening techniques. While these are a good starting point, what can’t be shown in pictures is the amount of intensity and/or range of motion needed for these exercises to be effective.

The amount of intensity needed to perform stretching exercise varies depending on a few factors. One, the intensity should never be so much that it causes sharp pain in the shoulder joint. Two, if discomfort or pain in the shoulder after performing any exercise lasts more than 30 minutes then the intensity is too high. This may be a sign of damage caused by over stretching the tissues or nerves surrounding the joint. If good form is observed during the exercise then the intensity should be “mild to medium” but not “strong” or to the point of unbearable pain. Those individuals with conditions such as osteoporosis should take special consideration to the amount of intensity used. Another thing that photos don’t reveal is the plane or angle of motion the stretch or movement should be carried through. Illustrations of exercise are generally uni planar an may not accurately depict the correct starting angle the shoulder should be in at the start of the movement.

Frozen shoulder exercise pictures typically show only the starting point and/or ending point of the movement and do not take into account an individual’s posture, or joint mobility. Therefore it is possible that someone could do significant harm by emulating such exercises from a simple photograph. The starting point of any exercise should never cause pain or discomfort. With this in mind, always modify any exercise picture to accommodate your posture, build, or range of motion. In other words if it hurts at the starting point of a particular technique then change the exercise to suit your  your particular needs. In addition, if any stretching techique causes radiating pain, tingling, or numbness, then stop the movement completely and reasses the way you are performing it. There is no good that comes from adopting the attitude of “no pain, no gain” especially with a condition such as adhesive capsulitis.

Despite the forewarnings above, photographs can be an excellent way to catalog and organize your specific treatment program. Written exercises are less likely to be consistently followed and often don’t provide the individual with enough information to perform the techniques correctly. With all the above said, frozen shoulder exercise pictures are a good part of any treatment program, but should be approached with caution so further damage is prevented.