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What Exercises Should I Avoid with a Frozen Shoulder in India?

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A frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, greatly restricts shoulder movement making daily activities painful and challenging. When it comes to exercises, not all are safe or recommended. This article discusses the appropriate and safe exercises as well as those that must be avoided if you have a frozen shoulder. So let us read more about What exercises should I avoid with a frozen shoulder in India?

What exercises should I avoid with a frozen shoulder in India?

Understanding Frozen Shoulder

A frozen shoulder is characterized by pain and stiffness that worsens over time. The capsule of tissue around the shoulder joint becomes thick and tight, restricting external rotation, overhead motions, and overall flexibility.

Some common symptoms include:

  • Gradual onset of shoulder pain
  • Severe difficulty moving the arm
  • Pain while sleeping on the affected side
  • General difficulty carrying out routine shoulder movements

The condition usually resolves itself in 1-3 years but physiotherapy and exercises can provide symptom relief and restore movement during this timeline. Let’s look at safe exercises and those you must avoid.

Shoulder Exercises to Avoid with Frozen Shoulder

While exercise is important, certain motions can aggravate this condition. Avoid these shoulder exercises completely when experiencing a frozen shoulder:

  • ** Behind the back internal rotation – Clasping hands behind the back stresses the anterior shoulder capsule.
  • Overhead lifts – Raising arms overhead overstretches ligaments increasing pain.
  • Press-ups – Placing weight on the shoulders during push-ups risks further damage.
  • Shoulder shrugs – Shrugging shoulders is stressful for the restricted rotator cuff and surrounding tissues.
  • Arm circles – Circling arms involves rotational movements that frozen shoulders cannot handle.
  • Elbow flick backs – Quick flicking of hands towards the back of the shoulder over mobilizes the joint.
  • Wall slide stretches – Gliding hand up the wall above shoulder level overstretches the capsule.

Consult a physiotherapist before trying any shoulder stretching or strengthening exercise with adhesive capsulitis. Improper exercises can worsen inflammation and pain leading to longer recovery.

Best Exercises for a Frozen Shoulder

Under guidance from a physical therapist, try these exercises that provide gentle stretching and movement within a pain-free range of motion:

1. Pendulum Exercises

  • Stand leaning forward for the arm to hang down straight
  • Swing arm forward/backward and in circular motions
  • Allows shoulder to move freely without straining

2. Passive Arm Swings

  • Hold a lightweight stick/umbrella/rolled towel underarm
  • Using the other arm, gently swing the weighted arm
  • Gets shoulder moving while avoiding strain

3. Assisted Shoulder Stretches

  • Use a wall, corner, door, or stick to provide support
  • Gently stretch your shoulder back and hold for 15-30 seconds
  • Focus on a safe range of motion without pain

4. Shoulder Squeezes

  • Keep elbow bent with palm on stomach
  • Gently squeeze shoulder blades together
  • Strengthens muscles around shoulders

Always stop any exercise that causes shoulder pain. Over-exertion can delay recovery from a frozen shoulder. Consult an orthopedic specialist or physiotherapist for a customized exercise plan.

Additional Tips for Frozen Shoulder Management

Along with safe exercises, following these tips aids in recovery:

  • Apply ice packs to relieve shoulder inflammation
  • Use slings for extra joint support in daily life
  • Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Get shoulder joint injections for temporary pain relief
  • Adopt good posture and relax muscles with gentle massages

Surgery may be required in severe unresponsive cases to break the tight shoulder capsule. However, conservative treatment works for most patients.

Key Takeaways on Frozen Shoulder Exercises

  • Avoid any exercise putting weight on shoulders or requiring overhead arm motions
  • Pendulum swings, passive stretches, and shoulder squeezes are safe
  • Always check with a physiotherapist before trying shoulder exercises
  • Stop immediately if any exercise causes increased pain
  • Recovery takes at least 1 year with proper rest, physiotherapy, and care

So let your shoulder rest completely from strained movements. Adopt a multimodal approach – gentle exercises paired with icing, medication, massages, and posture correction aid recovery. Protect your shoulder now to regain strength and mobility gradually.

Lifting weights with a frozen shoulder is mostly not recommended as it can strain the injured tissues and worsen inflammation. As a frozen shoulder already has a tight, inflamed shoulder capsule, placing further stress through weights can cause microscopic tears leading to more pain and stiffness. Instead, take a break from shoulder-intensive weight training until you regain mobility and flexibility.

However, after consulting a physiotherapist, you may try gentle rotator cuff exercises without weights to keep the muscles activated. Use resistance bands if needed but avoid lifting dumbbells or barbells overhead or behind the neck. Give your shoulder adequate rest from weights for at least a few months. Follow your therapist’s tailored exercise plan to slowly regain strength once the tissues heal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are push-ups absolutely not allowed?

Avoid full push-ups. But wall push-ups placing hands on a wall can be done in pain-free range.

Can I lift lightweight dumbbells for biceps etc?

Avoid any lifting exercise involving shoulders – use resistance bands instead.

Will swimming strain my frozen shoulder?

Avoid swimming strokes involving extensive shoulder mobility. Gentle backstrokes may be possible. Check with your physiotherapist.

How often should I exercise the affected shoulder?

Start with 5 minutes twice a day. Build up to 30-minute sessions once pain reduces.

Final Word

A frozen shoulder limits flexibility and causes immobilizing pain. While exercise is important, over-mobilizing the joint too soon can increase damage. So avoid lifting weights overhead or behind the back. Adopt a gentle range of motion and stretching exercises only under the guidance of a shoulder specialist. Most cases of adhesive capsulitis resolve gradually within 1-3 years. But proper rest, hot/ice packs, and physiotherapy sessions greatly aid recovery in this timeline.