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Frozen Shoulder Physiotherapy

Medical term of frozen shoulder is adhesive capsulitis, and it refers to a shoulder capsule disorder, where the connective tissues around the shoulder joint (medically known as the glenohumeral joint) becomes

  • swollen,
  • inflamed
  • painful and
  • stiff,

- reducing your shoulder movement severely with presence of persistent aching and even sharp pain in the shoulder.

symptoms of frozen shoulder

Patients who suffer from frozen shoulder often report experiencing a lot of pain, discomfort and resulting in inability to participate in life such as wearing/removing clothing, driving, carrying, writing - anything that involves shoulder and hand movement.

It causes shoulder movement to be very, very restricted due to both the tightness as well as the pain, which is persistent/ongoing and is amplified with:

  • sudden movements
  • colder/lowering of temperature
  • sleeping/at night

If you combine the symptoms and experiences above, you may see that frozen should makes life, responsibilities and work very difficult. In fact, accidental "taps or bumps" by people or even items can cause strong pain response that may linger for minutes or longer (this is very debilitating).

how does frozen shoulder starts?

Medical researchers hadn't found out the reasons why frozen shoulder actually occurs, though we found that it usually happens in individuals over 40 years old. It may or may not occur with trauma (ie it can occur out of the blue), but it may happen with trauma too.

What patients report is that during the early stages of frozen shoulder, they may or may not have experienced any trauma, but what they remember is that they "suddenly" find that they have a shoulder that is painful, stiff and difficult to move. With time, the pain eases and improves over a period of 6-12 months but the stiffness stays or worsens over time.

frozen shoulder physiotherapy

Frozen shoulder physiotherapy almost always begins with a focus first on pain relief, and the main reason for this is that once we have decreased the pain experience, it'd be so much easier and better for the patient to have less or no pain.

Hence once we've dealt with the pain, then only we can start working on the issue of stiffness and tightness in the shoulder. Patients are recommended to start shoulder physiotherapy as soon as possible once they start experiencing shoulder pains and tightness from frozen shoulder, as the earlier we can get into the shoulder joint to manage pain and stretch out the soft tissue and capsules, the faster the pain can be managed and return to pain-free life.

Physiotherapy interventions will be a mix of

  • manual soft tissue stretching
  • deep tissue massage
  • soft tissue release
  • heat therapy
  • combined with a very specific home program of exercise and movement therapy

for our patient to do between physiotherapy sessions.

The exact cause of frozen shoulder unfortunately is still unknown, and can last from 3 months to 5 years or longer. Patients who suffer from frozen shoulder often suffer problems sleeping because of the pain in the shoulder that increases

  • at night
  • when it is cold/lower temperature
  • when immobilized in a particular posture for long periods (of rest/sleeping)

Frozen shoulder may also cause issues such as back pains and neck pains, depression and chronic pain; affecting work, life and pleasure.

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Phoenix Rehab Physio Services

Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.


Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists (sprains and fractures) and fingers, usually will benefit / require Hand Therapy to

  1. manage and decrease hand pains
  2. improve range of motion, strength and dexterity
  3. increase the function of their hand following injuries or post-operations

Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes


Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing.

It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.


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Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to accelerate recovery and  shorten downtime / recovery period required.

It also prevents muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle performance. Having regular deep tissue and sports massage will keep your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence.

Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.


All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).

See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.

Follow up sessions are inline to provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

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We prefer not to rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the chance, please tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our physio clinics.

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