How can you help a frozen shoulder?
Frozen shoulder can be stiff and painful, and make caring for a toddler very difficult. Try these exercises to help.
I’ve just developed a frozen shoulder, which is making caring for my toddler very difficult. It’s stiff and painful but my GP says it will eventually go. Are there any exercises that would help?
Stretching exercises usually help with this, but it’s important that the shoulder muscles are warm before you start, so either do these after a warm bath or shower, or apply a hot water bottle to the shoulder for at least five minutes. Here are three stretches to try, in this order.
Arm circles: Stand sideways to a table with your ‘good’ hand resting on the table and the closest leg and foot forward, the other back. Relax your shoulders. Lean forward slightly, with the affected arm hanging down by your side. Swing this arm in a small circle; about a foot in diameter. Do ten circles in one direction, then another ten in the other direction, once a day. As the stiffness improves, increase the size of the swing, but don’t force it. When things improve, increase the stretch by holding a hand weight of three to fi ve pounds in the swinging arm.
Towel Stretch Hold: the end of a towel about three feet long behind your back and grab the opposite end with your other hand; hold it horizontally behind your back. Use the unaffected arm to gently pull the painful arm upwards to stretch it, so the towel is at a slant. Try this 20 times a day.
Cross Body Reach: Use your good arm to lift your painful arm at the elbow and bring that arm up and across your body, putting some gentle pressure on it to stretch the shoulder. Hold this stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. Do 20 times per day.
When the stiffness improves, it’s then best to do some strengthening exercises for your shoulder which I recommend you ask a trained fi tness instructor, personal trainer or physiotherapist to show you.