Exercises For Moderate To Severe Cases Of Frozen Shoulder

According to medical observations, about 4% to 5% of the world’s population has a case of frozen shoulder. It occurs mostly in adults that age more than 40 years and a higher number in women. 

Most adhesive capsulitis cases can be managed by administering exercises to frozen shoulder patients. All these are done to improve the flexibility, stability, and range of motion of the shoulder.

Exercises For Cases of Frozen Shoulder

  1. Supine Flexion

The supine flexion exercise is done while lying down or standing. It can be done without weight while standing;

● Stand in front of a wall.

● Maintain a straight arm and walk it up the wall until a stretch is felt.

● Stay in the same position for 30 seconds, and then slowly release your arm to the initial position.

Shoulder flexion can also be done by lying down with a weight. The weight must be approved by your medical practitioner. For this example, a wand of 30 centimeters is used.

● Start by laying on your back.

● Hold the wand at the edges with your palms facing the floor.

● Make sure your elbows are kept straight. Then, move your arms over your head while holding the wand.

● Continue this until you feel a stretch in your chest, back and shoulders. 

● Do this for about 30 seconds and repeat it three times or more. 


1. For controlling shoulder mobility.

2. Shoulder flexion exercise helps in reducing pains felt in the affected shoulder.

  1. Cross-body reach

This exercise can be carried out while standing or sitting. 

● Start by lifting your affected arm with your other arm.

● Lift the arm upwards and across your body.

● Continue stretching the affected arm until it reaches the range limit.

● Repeat this for 15 seconds, 20 times a day.


● It is a great stretch exercise that improves the mobility of a frozen shoulder.

  1. Armpit stretch

During this exercise, you might need surface support for your arms—for example, a table.

● Stand in front of the table at a level point; chest height is preferable.

● Place the affected arm on the table, then slightly bend your knees. Make sure your armpit stays open.

● Continue bending your knees until a stretch is felt.

● Stay in the same position for a few seconds.

● Repeat this process about 15 times a day.


1. Stretching relieves pain and tension in the affected shoulder.

  1. Towel stretch

Towel stretch can either be done while standing or sitting. For the towel stretch exercise, a medium-sized towel is required.

● Use your other arm to hold the towel. Then, drape the towel over the affected shoulder.

● Hold the bottom part of the towel with your affected hand

● Pull the towel gently until a stretch is felt.

● Continue this for 10-20 seconds, 15 times daily.


1. This is a rotation stretching that works for the flexibility and mobility of the shoulder.

  1. Pendulum stretch

The pendulum stretch can either be carried out while standing or lying down. You may or may not use a weight. The added weight should be around 3 pounds.

While standing;

● Stand close to a table and place the unaffected arm on the table.

● Bend your hips forward with the affected arm dangling.

● Swing the affected arm from side to side.

● Start slowly with a small diameter, then increase the speed and diameter gradually.

● Keep doing this for a few seconds 5-10 times a day.

While lying down;

● Lay on your stomach. A bed or table can be used.

● Move towards the edge of the bed with the affected arm hanging low.

● Relax, then start swinging the arm gently.

● Slowly increase the speed and diameter as you swing.

● Do this 5-10 times a day for a few seconds.

● Proceed the increase the seconds to a few minutes.


1. Pendulum stretch relaxes the shoulder muscle and improves the range of motion.

  1. Standing extension 

A stick is required for this exercise.

● Stand straight and hold the stick horizontally behind your back.

● Make sure the arms are shoulder wide apart.

● While holding the stick, let your palms face upwards.

● Raise the arm until a stretch is felt.

● Repeat this for a few seconds, 5-10 times daily.


1. This exercise improves the movement of the shoulder 

  1. Wall crawl

The wall crawl is carried out by;

● First, you stand against the wall at about 6 inches away. Then, proceed to raise your hand on the wall.

● Your arm should be above shoulder height.

● Walk your fingers up above the weight height until a stretch is felt.

● Walk the fingers down again.

● Keep doing this until a sharp pain is felt, then stop.

● Repeat this 10- 15 times, about twice a day.


1. It reduces pain by increasing flexibility. 

2. Wall crawl increases the range of motion of the shoulder. 

3. Finger walk improves stability and movement in the shoulder joints.

  1. Inward rotation

● Start by standing in front of a closed door. 

● Hook a rubber or stretchy band around the doorknob.

● Hook the other part of the rubber band with the hand of your affected shoulder.

● With your elbows at 90 degrees, pull towards your body. 

● Keep pulling, then hold for a few seconds.

● Repeat this 10 to 15 times daily.

  1. Outward rotation

● With your elbows at 90 degrees, hold a rubber exercise band with both hands.

● Keep your elbows placed at 90 degrees to your sides.

● Pull the rubber exercise band outwards with your affected arm.

● Keep rotating the affected arm for a few seconds, around 15 times a day.


1. Shoulder rotation exercises help to keep good posture.

2. It also improves the health, stability, and mobility of the shoulder.

  1. Sleeper Stretch

● Start by laying down with the side that is affected.

● Keep your elbow at 90 degrees while bending your knees and the affected arm.

● Make sure your forearm is raised, and your fingers point upwards.

● Push the affected arm up with the other arm.

● Keep doing this for about 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times a day.


1. This exercise improves the internal rotation of the arm.

2. It relieves stiffness and restores stability in the shoulder.

  1. Shoulder Shrugs

This could be done while standing or sitting.

● Start by lifting your shoulders to your ear level. Only lift until you feel a stretch.

● Stay in the same position for a few seconds.

● Slowly release your shoulders to their initial position.

● Repeat this as long as you can.


1. The shoulder shrug exercise improves the posture.

2. It reduces strain on the shoulder and back.

Tips For The Exercises

1. Before starting any exercise, make sure you warm up. A heating pad or warm bath will suffice.

2. Do not go straight into exercising before doing that.

3. Also, make sure you seek the advice of a medical expert or physical therapist before undergoing any exercise at all.

4. Do not outdo yourself while exercising. Always know when there is a limit and when to stop.

5. Adhere strictly to the instructions given by the medical expert.


Constant exercises carried out by frozen shoulder patients help to improve the condition. Apart from medications or surgery, physical exercises can be administered by a physical therapist.