The Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy recently released an informational article about frozen shoulders (or adhesive capsulitis) and physical therapy (link). The article notes that an important part of patients’ success is that they are well-informed regarding their prognosis. The article states that on average it takes 1-2 years for the problem to resolve. This is exactly what I see in the clinic. That timeline can be daunting but if the patient is aware of the timeline it is much more manageable. The other thing that is important to notice is that only between 2-5% of people get true frozen shoulder. The term frozen shoulder is thrown around but very few people with shoulder pain have true frozen shoulder.
My only criticism of the article is that the exercises that are shown are not representative of the exercises you would get in our clinic. Especially in the later stages of rehab my patients are doing much more advanced and active exercises.
At Siskiyou PT we see and have good results patients who have adhesive capsulitis as well as general shoulder pain and/or stiffness. If you are struggling with frozen shoulder-type symptoms or any shoulder pain, it would be our pleasure to see you.
Jon Hill, DPT