shoulder // Category

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11 Apr

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. It can significantly limit range of motion and impact daily activities. While it can be a challenging condition to manage, there are exercises and tips that can help provide relief and improve mobility. In this article, we’ll explore some easy exercises and practical tips for alleviating frozen shoulder symptoms.

Understanding Frozen Shoulder

Before diving into exercises and tips, let’s briefly understand what frozen shoulder is. Frozen shoulder occurs when the connective tissue surrounding the shoulder joint becomes inflamed and thickened, leading to stiffness and reduced mobility. The exact cause is often unknown, but factors such as injury, surgery, prolonged immobility, or underlying medical conditions can contribute to its development.

Frozen shoulder typically develops gradually and progresses through three stages:

  1. Freezing Stage: During this initial stage, individuals experience increasing shoulder pain and stiffness. Range of motion becomes limited, making it difficult to perform daily activities such as reaching overhead or behind the back.
  2. Frozen Stage: In the frozen stage, shoulder stiffness and pain may plateau, but the range of motion remains significantly restricted. Activities that require lifting or rotating the arm may be particularly challenging, and pain may persist, especially at night.
  3. Thawing Stage: The thawing stage is characterized by a gradual improvement in shoulder mobility and a reduction in pain. Range of motion gradually returns to normal or near-normal levels over time, although this process can take several months to years.

Easy Exercises for Frozen Shoulders

Pendulum Stretch

This exercise helps loosen the shoulder joint and improve range of motion.

  • Stand or sit with your unaffected arm supported on a table or chair.
  • Lean forward slightly and let your affected arm hang down.
  • Gently swing your arm in small circles, forward and backward, for 5-10 minutes.
  • Perform 10-15 circles in each direction gradually increasing the range of motion

Towel Stretch

This stretch targets the shoulder capsule and helps improve flexibility.

  • Hold a towel behind your back with one hand and grab the other end with your opposite hand.
  • Gently pull the towel upward with your top hand while gently pushing downward with your bottom hand.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, then relax.
  • Repeat several times, gradually increasing the stretch as tolerated.

Wall Walk

This exercise helps stretch the shoulder muscles and increase range of motion.

  • Stand facing a wall with your fingertips touching the wall at waist height.
  • Slowly walk your fingers up the wall, raising your arm as high as possible without causing pain.
  • Hold the stretch for a few seconds, then walk your fingers back down.
  • Repeat for 5-10 repetitions, gradually increasing the height as your mobility improves.

Cross-Body Stretch

  • Use your unaffected arm to gently pull the affected arm across your body.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, feeling a gentle stretch in the shoulder.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Perform 2-3 sets on each side, alternating between arms.

Practical Tips for Managing Frozen Shoulders:

  1. Apply Heat: Using a heating pad or warm towel on the affected shoulder can help relax tight muscles and increase blood flow, reducing stiffness and discomfort.
  2. Practice Good Posture: Maintaining proper posture throughout the day can prevent further strain on the shoulders and promote better alignment and mobility.
  3. Avoid Overuse: Be mindful of activities that aggravate shoulder pain and limit repetitive movements or heavy lifting that could worsen symptoms.
  4. Stay Active: While rest is important for healing, gentle exercise and movement can help prevent stiffness and promote recovery. Incorporate low-impact activities like walking or swimming into your routine.
  5. Seek Professional Help: If symptoms persist or worsen despite home remedies, consider seeking guidance from a healthcare professional or a physical therapist.

While frozen shoulder can be a frustrating and painful condition, incorporating easy exercises and practical tips into your daily routine can help alleviate symptoms and improve mobility. By including gentle exercises, practicing good habits, and seeking appropriate medical care when needed, individuals with frozen shoulders can improve mobility, reduce pain, and regain function in their shoulders.
However one should Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of exercises as tolerated. If symptoms persist or worsen, one should consult a physiotherapist for further evaluation and treatment options. With patience and consistent effort, relief from frozen shoulder is attainable.

Click here to book an appointment with a physiotherapist at one of our eight locations.

25 Oct

Shoulder pain can vary in its cause and severity, and whether it goes away on its own depends on several factors. Here are some considerations:

  1. Cause of Shoulder Pain
  2. Acute vs. Chronic Pain
  3. Severity of Pain
  4. Age and Health Status
  5. Activity Level
  6. Professional Evaluation
  7. Treatment Options
Physiotherapy Oakville

What are some Common Shoulder Problems and how to treat them?

Shoulder problems can encompass a range of conditions and injuries. Here are some common shoulder problems and some general guidelines on how they are typically treated:

  1. Rotator Cuff Tears:
    • Treatment can range from rest and physiotherapy for partial tears to surgical repair for complete tears.
  2. Tendinitis (Rotator Cuff Tendinitis):
    • Rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and physiotherapy are common initial treatments. Severe cases may require corticosteroid injections.
  3. Bursitis (Shoulder Bursitis):
    • Similar to tendinitis, treatment includes rest, ice, anti-inflammatory drugs, and physiotherapy. In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be used.
  4. Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis):
    • Physiotherapy and stretching exercises are often recommended. Severe cases may require manipulation under anesthesia or surgery.
  5. Shoulder Impingement:
    • Rest, ice, physiotherapy, and modifications to activity are typical treatments. Injections or surgery may be necessary in severe cases.
  6. Labral Tears (SLAP Tears):
    • Non-surgical options include rest and physiotherapy. Severe cases may require arthroscopic surgery to repair the labrum.
  7. Shoulder Instability (Shoulder Dislocation):
    • Initial treatment includes immobilization and physiotherapy. Surgical options may be considered for recurrent dislocations.
  8. Arthritis (Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis):
    • Management includes pain relief with medications, physiotherapy, and lifestyle modifications. In severe cases, joint replacement surgery may be recommended.
  9. Fractures (Clavicle, Humerus, or Scapula):
    • Treatment depends on the type and severity of the fracture. Options include immobilization with a cast or sling, surgery, and physiotherapy.
  10. AC Joint Separation:
    • Mild cases may require rest and physiotherapy, while severe cases may require surgery.
  11. Nerve Compression (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome):
    • Treatment may involve physiotherapy, posture correction, and occasionally surgery to relieve compression on nerves and blood vessels.

How do I book an appointment at a Physiotherapy Clinic near me?

Click HERE to book an appointment with a physiotherapist or chiropractor at one of our eight locations.

22 Jan
Shoulder Prehabilitation (prehab) involves the process of implementing a physical, psychological, nutritional intervention before an individual goes into surgery. The goal behind prehab programs is to maximize an individual’s physical and psychological fitness/health before surgery in order to reduce pain, increase physical function and allow you to return to your normal activities sooner following surgery.  Although there is limited evidence regarding shoulder prehab programs, there is promising and growing evidence that suggests prehab programs for hip, knee, and spinal surgery may improve pain, function and reduce the total cost of healthcare spending in the post-operative period.  Also Read, Physiotherapy Clinics in Etobicoke Best Physiotherapist in Oakville

Types of Surgeries for Shoulder

  • Reverse arthroplasty
  • Total shoulder arthroplasty/replacement 
  • Rotator cuff repair
  • SLAP repair
  • Bicep tendon repair
  • Tenotomy 

What Prehab Programs look like:

Most prehab programs can be anywhere from 2-8 weeks leading up to surgery and could potentially involve:

1)    Exercise training (2-3x/week)

  • Strengthening and stabilization exercises for the rotator cuff and muscles supporting your shoulder blade 
  • Home exercise program tailored to your needs
  • Exercise training 1 on 1 with a physical therapist

2)    Education: information delivered regarding

  • Shoulder anatomy and mechanics
  • Pain science education
  • The process of your operative procedure
  • Patient-therapist expectations
  • Post-operative protocol
  • Detailed exercise program and technique 
Also read, Best Physiotherapist near Mississauga

3)    Nutritional support

  • Consultation with a registered dietician
  • Detailed nutrition programs to optimize physical and mental health
  • Nutritional supplements as indicated

4)    Psychological support

  • Consultation with psychologist/ psychotherapist
  • Anxiety and stress reduction 
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy 
  • Relaxation techniques 
  • Coping strategies for surgery
Shoulder Prehab is a set of exercises and movements designed to strengthen and condition the shoulder joint and surrounding muscles, helping to prevent injury or improve recovery from a previous injury. Prehabilitation may include:
  1. Shoulder rotator cuff strengthening exercises such as internal and external rotation with light weights.
  2. Scapular stability exercises to improve posture and reduce stress on the shoulder joint.
  3. Stretching to improve flexibility and range of motion.
  4. Plyometric exercises to improve power and explosiveness.
  5. Core stability exercises to improve overall body control and stability.
Prehabilitation should be performed regularly, especially if you have a history of shoulder injuries or plan to participate in overhead activities such as weightlifting or throwing. By taking care of your shoulder before it becomes a problem, you can help prevent injury and improve your performance.

Click HERE to book an appointment with a physiotherapist at one of our eight locations.

18 Apr

Isn’t it so unfair?! Last night you were all fine before going to bed but the next morning you woke up with a sore shoulder. The uninvited shoulder pain makes you continuously look back and think of how you might have injured it. Maybe it was an intense dance lesson from last week, a strenuous workout, or even sleeping incorrectly. Not being able to figure it out, you carry on with your day, all the while noticing that something is feeling off.

Physiotherapy clinic Mississauga
Also read, Best Physiotherapy Clinic in Etobicoke

Below are a few common reasons that can cause “random” shoulder pain:

  • Thoracic Spine Stiffness: The stiffness in the thoracic spine is mainly caused by lack of movement or prolonged sitting, which is more likely to happen since more people are having sedentary jobs. In such cases, we tend to round our shoulders more which eventually puts too much stress on underlying structures.
  • Frozen Shoulder: A condition which causes a significant amount of scar tissue to be deposited all around the shoulder capsule, causing a noticeable range of motion restrictions, strength loss, and pain.
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis: This usually occurs when the rotator cuff tendons in the shoulder are overworked or strained because of an injury. You might even hear a snapping sound when you move your shoulder. Exerting pressure on the shoulder, sleeping incorrectly, and poor shoulder mechanics are some of the causes of this condition.
  • Shoulder Impingement: Sleeping on one arm can result in shoulder impingement. Shoulder impingement can also be caused due to excessive shoulder movements, ligament laxity, muscular weakness around the joint, poor posture, previous injury, etc. 
  • Scapular Dyskinesis: Also known as Chicken wing shoulder blades, this condition causes you to have poor muscular control of your shoulder blades. There can be muscle pain or joint pain around the scapula when carrying heavy objects.
  • Referred Pain: Many people come to our physiotherapy clinics complaining about their shoulder pain, but after a thorough examination we realize that the pain is referred from their neck. It is important to see a Physiotherapist that understands this link and treats the right thing!

Also read, Physiotherapy Rehab Clinic in Oakville

How can I get relief from shoulder pain?

A few simple solutions which will give you some relief are:

  • Avoid intense activities
  • Maintain a proper posture
  • Don’t sleep with your elbow over your head; this can compress the tendons of the shoulder and increase your pain

At Triangle Physiotherapy, will assess your shoulder and create a comprehensive treatment plan for you. Our treatment will involve a combination of hands-on manual therapy techniques as well as a custom exercise plan to help you on your road to recovery. Book your appointment now and stop letting your shoulder prevent you from doing the things you want to do!