Dos and Don’ts for Frozen Shoulder

June 17, 2022

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a painful condition that causes stiffness and inflammation, making it difficult to move the shoulder. The condition occurs when the capsule, the healthy connective tissue surrounding the shoulder joint, becomes thick, stiff, and inflamed. The exact cause is unknown, but it typically occurs after an injury, surgery, or prolonged periods of immobilization to the shoulder. 

This condition is described as a “frozen” shoulder because the more you feel the pain, the less you will use your shoulder. When the shoulder is being used or exercised less, it causes the shoulder capsule to thicken and tighten. As inflammation progresses, scars appear, which can cause thick tissue (adhesions) between tendons, bones, and ligaments. This reduces the rotational space in the joint, making it harder for the arm to move in its natural range of motion. 

Frozen Shoulder Symptoms

A frozen shoulder can cause a dull or achy sensation on one side of your shoulder. Pain can also be felt in your shoulder muscles, which wrap around your upper arm, due to inflammation and swelling around the joint capsule. This inflammation can cause discomfort and limit the movement of your shoulder joint. Individuals usually go through three phases with a frozen shoulder.

Freezing stage

This stage causes stiffness and pain in the shoulder. There is a gradual increase in pain and a decrease in freedom of movement. The pain is sharper at night and can last between six weeks to nine months.

Frozen stage

Your pain might get better, but your stiffness gets worse. This stage can last anywhere from four to twelve months, and daily activities may become harder. 

Thawing phase 

Known as the recovery phase, this stage is when the pain subsides, and the joint movement gradually improves. It can take anywhere between six months and three years.

Frozen Shoulder Treatment in Bonita Springs and Naples FL

The Matterhorn Fit Method is a holistic approach to relieving pain, restoring range of motion, and strengthening the body, allowing you to return to your normal daily activities. The first phase of rehab for frozen shoulder addresses stretching of the shoulder capsule and surrounding soft tissue while restoring passive and active range of motion. The second phase focuses on strengthening the rotator cuff and mid-back musculature. Symptoms usually come on gradually, and most cases will resolve on their own within 1-3 years. However, therapy can prevent further progression and speed up recovery time.

Our brain-based diagnostic tools pinpoint the source of pain and compensation in your body. We then reconnect the neuromuscular pathways that have been “shut down” as a function of your brain to protect the injured area. After rehabilitation, we use a customized training program to improve strength and flexibility to prevent further injury. Schedule your initial evaluation at one of our Florida fitness centers today!


  • Follow a directed exercise plan 
  • Educated yourself about Adhesive Capsulitis
  • Use an ice Pack on the frozen shoulder for 10 minutes 3-4 times a day to relieve your pain
  • Regularly use your affected arm
  • Pay attention to your sleeping position


  • Don’t let shoulder pain stop you from using your arm
  • Don’t sleep on the affected side
  • Don’t engage in activities involving abrupt upper arm movements
  • Don’t do activities that cause pain



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