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  • Writer's pictureRakhee

Frozen shoulder? Treatment options outlined by our osteopath

Most people who have worked a manual job or are a fan of tennis have heard of a frozen shoulder.

Also known as adhesive capsulitis, it causes discomfort and stiffness in the shoulder joint, leading to a limited range of motion. It can significantly impact one's daily activities and quality of life.

Luckily, there are various treatment options available to alleviate the symptoms and restore shoulder function, which range from mild intervention to surgery for more complex cases.

When you have only just begun to experience the effects of a frozen shoulder, our team at Rakhee Osteopathy can help. Our osteopath London will be able to offer you a specialised treatment plan for your case to alleviate the sensation and restore the range of movement in your shoulder.

In the following article, our osteopath London will explore five effective treatments for a frozen shoulder that have proven beneficial for many individuals.

Osteopathic treatments

When you have a frozen shoulder, one of the best ways to treat it that is minimally invasive is with osteopathic treatments.

Typically, if you come to see our osteopath London, we will work on your shoulder using a set of deep tissue massages and palpation treatments; this will help to alleviate the tension in the muscles and will also help to reduce inflammation in the muscles.

Physical therapy and stretching exercises

Physical therapy is a core part of the management of a frozen shoulder. A skilled physical therapist can design a personalised exercise program to gradually improve the shoulder's range of motion. These exercises typically focus on stretching and strengthening the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. Gentle stretching helps to increase flexibility and decrease stiffness while strengthening exercises enhance muscle support and stability. Physical therapy sessions may also involve techniques such as heat therapy, massage, and manual manipulation to relieve pain and promote healing.

Joint distension

Joint distension, also known as hydro dilatation, is a procedure where the affected shoulder joint is injected with a sterile fluid to help expand and stretch the capsule surrounding it. The fluid helps to create more space within the joint, reducing pain and improving mobility. This treatment is often performed under ultrasound guidance to ensure precise needle placement. Joint distension is an effective option for individuals who have not responded well to conservative treatments like physical therapy or oral medications. It can provide immediate relief and restore a significant range of motion in many cases.

Steroid injections

For long-term frozen shoulder, corticosteroid injections are frequently used to alleviate pain and inflammation associated with frozen shoulder. A qualified healthcare professional administers the injection directly into the shoulder joint. Steroids have potent anti-inflammatory properties and can offer substantial relief from pain and stiffness. This treatment is especially useful during the painful stage of a frozen shoulder when conservative measures may not provide sufficient relief. However, it's important to note that steroid injections are typically used as a temporary solution and may not address the underlying cause of the condition.

Arthroscopic surgery

In the most severe cases of frozen shoulder, when other treatments have failed to provide relief, arthroscopic surgery may be considered. Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the insertion of a small camera and specialised surgical instruments through small incisions in the shoulder joint. The surgeon can see and manipulate the tissues within the joint, releasing adhesions and removing scar tissue. Arthroscopic surgery aims to improve the range of motion and alleviate pain. Following surgery, a comprehensive rehabilitation program is essential to optimise recovery and restore shoulder function.


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