Frozen Shoulder Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

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Frozen shoulder, which is technically known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that causes stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint from adhesion build up. See Doctor Jo’s blog post about this at:

For a frozen shoulder, signs and symptoms typically begin gradually, worsen over time and then resolve, usually within one to three years. Stretches and exercises can help speed up the recovery time.

The first stretches are called pendulums. For a frozen shoulder, using a small weight in your hand helps open up the shoulder joint. Use a chair or counter top for balance, and lean over so your arm hangs down towards the ground. Move your body, not your arm in circles so your arm swings around like a pendulum. You can also rock front to back and side to side. Start off with 10 of each and work your way up to a minute of each.

The next set of exercises will be passive range of motion (PROM), but it is sometimes active assisted rang of motion (AAROM) as well. Take a stick of some sort. Broom sticks work well. You can do some of the movement on your own, but really try to let the cane, broom, or stick do most of the movement. You are going to do all the movement with your good arm. The “bad” or injured arm is just going along for the ride!

First, hold the broom stick straight out in front of you with your good side. Place the other hand on the stick. Lift the stick with the good side slowly, and try to relax the other arm so it does not actively move. Take it as high as you comfortably can, and slowly come back down. Then, put your elbow by your side with your hand straight out at a 90 degree angle. Put the hand of the bad side on the end of the stick again. Keeping your elbow at your side, push outward slowly until you feel a stretch, and then bring it back in. Finally, put the hand of the bad side on the end of the broomstick. Slowly push the arm out to the side and up, and slowly come back down. Do all these 10 times.

Now you will do shoulder shrugs. Lift your shoulders up towards the ceiling, but try to keep your head and neck in one spot. Don’t bring your ears down towards your shoulders, lift your shoulders up. Do 10 of these. Now for shoulder circles. You can roll them clockwise, and then counter clockwise. This will stretch out the shoulder and neck muscles. Start with10 each way, and work your way up from there.

The last stretch is a shoulder flexion stretch using the ground for assistance. Get on the ground and sit on your feet in a child’s pose position. If you can’t get on the ground or your knees hurt too much to bend them, you can slide your arm on a table or countertop. You will slide your arm forward with your thumb facing upward towards the ceiling and lean your body forward until you feel a stretch. Hold it for 3-5 seconds, and start off with 10-15.

Related Videos:

Shoulder Pain Treatment & Rehab Stretches:

Shoulder Pain Top 3 Exercises:


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Doctor Jo is a Doctor of Physical Therapy.


Frozen Shoulder Stretches & Exercises:

DISCLAIMER: This content (the video, description, links, and comments) is not medical advice or a treatment plan and is intended for general education and demonstration purposes only. This content should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any health, medical, or physical condition. Don’t use this content to avoid going to your own healthcare professional or to replace the advice they give you. Consult with your healthcare professional before doing anything contained in this content. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Ask Doctor Jo, LLC and its officers for any and all losses, injuries, or damages resulting from any and all claims that arise from your use or misuse of this content. Ask Doctor Jo, LLC makes no representations about the accuracy or suitability of this content. Use of this content is at your sole risk.


AskDoctorJo says:

Buy a printable worksheet with the Frozen Shoulder Stretches & Exercises in this video here:
Don't forget to hit the 🔴 SUBSCRIBE 🔴 button above! Find all of my videos at

Paramita Sengupta says:

My mom gets severe pain in her elbow and forearm area ade diagnosed with frozen shoulder. Can she follow these exercises?

Meme Mei says:

Dr Jo
Are these exercises safe to do for me who have a Labral tear in the shoulder right now🥲?just wanna do some stretching while waiting to see Orthopedic, thanks!

Melemel says:

Should you do these in the most painful freezing stage?

Steffany MK says:

How many times a day or week should I do these ??

Jen Bacho says:

I tried your exercise video then my shoulder pain was gone in minutes. Thank you!! ❤️

khalid ahmed says:

Thank you for showing us few exercises for frozen shoulders

Paula Randazzo says:

Hi Dr Jo. I am so happy my husband found your videos. I had frozen shoulder years ago in both shoulders and a recurrence last week in one shoulder. Your exercises are outstanding!!! Would you also recommend a heating pad? Thanks.

Vinny Randazzo says:

Hi Dr Jo, this is great. Thank You very much – can u pls tell me how long the bar is that you are using ? ❤️

nalexandi says:

do physio exercises for frozen shoulder and rotator cuff injury or impingement syndrom all same?

XyAckhart says:

Oh man, I always wake up with my shoulder hurting, around my rotator cuff. Sometimes its hard to move my arm a certain way or lift something heavy. This helps a lot!! Thank you so much!

Hira chand Chand says:

Dear doctor i have been seeing your vedio regarding to Frozen shoulder vedio from 10 days .I am also effecting this pain and regularly following exercise for shoulder pain .good and effecting exercise.God bless you.plesae teach us .

Muhammad Ikhlaq says:

Very nice information. I have frozen shoulder problem form last 5 month.

Rizwan Sayani says:

Hi Jo thanks for lovely video
Can a patient move elbow while exerciseing?

Joe Franceschino says:

Great exercises thank you. I use a golf club. A 7 iron works great 👍

Rahul Yadav 007 says:

Doctor it is taking too long for me to overcome this .
I have been suffering from 4 months .
Please advise something

property view point says:

Thank you .it helps me a lot.

Janice Lopez says:

Thank you doc Jo. I'm following to your video. It's greet.

Joel Carper says:

This chick knows what's up 👍

Cheow Kean Khaw says:

Simply the best method to recover the shoulder. Relax and do not push hard. i have tried and recovered well

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