Vida Chiropractic Summer Fitness: Frozen Shoulder - Swinging Pain Free with Golf | Vida Chiropractic

Vida Chiropractic Summer Fitness: Frozen Shoulder – Swinging Pain Free with Golf

Vida Chiropractic Summer Fitness: Frozen Shoulder – Swinging Pain Free with Golf

Adhesive Capsulitis, more commonly known as Frozen Shoulder is a huge problem; especially if you love to play golf. This physical ailment initially presents with aching, dull pain and stiffness in the shoulder. The anatomy of the shoulder joint includes tendons, ligaments and bones that are collectively encased in this connective tissue capsule. Capsulitis is an inflammation that causes the shoulder capsule to become tight and thick resulting in less range of motion as normal movement becomes inhibited.

Over time, the symptoms tend to increase and on average, this condition lasts between 1 to 3 years. There are three distinct stages of frozen shoulder:

The Freezing Stage: Range of motion within the shoulder becomes limited and any movement within the shoulder produces pain.

The Frozen Stage: Refers to increased stiffness and less range of motion in the shoulder. Pain may actually start to dissipate during this stage.

The Thawing Stage: Pain may become more intense during night or while sleeping for some patients; although, range of motion begins to improve and return.

For more information on the different degrees of symptoms, check out the following article:

Why Does Capsulitis Occur?

This condition seems to be more prevalent in women; however, the majority of patients range between 40 and 60 years of age. This condition often sets in after a period of inactivity and immobilization such as when the arm has been fractured or is in a cast for a period of time. Those recovering from a mastectomy or a stroke may be more susceptible as well. Certain medical conditions can increase the likelihood of Frozen Shoulder including those who have: Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, surgery, Parkinson ’s Disease or Cardiac Disease.

Adhesive Capsulitis does not appear to be related to repetitive strain, a dominant arm or result from particular occupations. Individuals may experience both shoulders affected simultaneously; however, it is more common for one shoulder to be affected and then the other at a different time.


Shoulder Exercises to Increase Circulation and Eliminate Pain

There are a variety of easy exercises that can help you increase your summer fitness. Vida Chiropractic believes in educating our patients as much as possible during your chiropractic appointment so that you can initiate positive home care in between appointments. We recommend warming up the shoulder joint (literally) before commencing any exercises. The most effective way to do this is with hydrotherapy or having a warm bath or shower for ten to fifteen minutes. If that is not an option, consider warming up a damp towel in the microwave to create a moist heating pad. Alternatively, you could sit with your heating pad and a damp towel to create some relaxing, penetrating heat.

Exercises to Increase Shoulder Flexibility for Golfers

Some great stretches to incorporate into your day that can drastically improve your Frozen Shoulder Symptoms include: the Pendulum Stretch, Finger Walking Up the Wall, Towel Stretch, Armpit Stretch, Inward Rotation, Outward Rotation, and the Cross-Body Reach. In any stretching routine it is vital to stretch until you reach your individual point of tension but stop before you experience any pain. Listen to your body; pain translates to “stop, you are going too far.” The following diagrams compliments of provide a great visual to follow at home.

Pendulum Stretch


This stretch is an excellent one to start with after your shoulder is warmed up. Stand near a table and slightly lean forward. Use your non-affected arm for support on the table and let your sore arm hang relaxed. Start swinging your arm in a tiny circular motion approximately one foot in diameter. Perform 10 controlled and slow revolutions in each direction. Do this move once a day. You can increase the diameter of your swing slightly as your symptoms improve. Do not force anything and listen to your body. Gradually work up to increasing your stretch by using a light weight (or can of soup) that ranges from 3lbs to 5lbs.

Finger Walking Up the Wall

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This is a great stretch that you can conduct at work, home or anywhere with a solid wall. Stand facing the wall approximately ¾ of an arm’s length away. Hold your affected arm at waist level to begin and slightly bend your elbow. Begin creeping your fingers up the wall similar to a spider walking until your arm is raised as far above your head as you can. Let your fingers do the work and not your shoulder muscles. Bring your arm slowly back down to the starting position (even using your “good arm” for help if required), and repeat the process. Complete the finger walking exercise 10 to 20 times each day. 

Towel Stretch

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This is a great exercise to begin immediately after your shower. We recommend completing this 10 to 20 times a day. Use a 3 foot long towel and roll it up. Grab one end behind your back and take the opposite end with your opposite hand. Place the towel into a horizontal position. Engage your “good arm” to pull your affected arm slightly upwards until you feel the stretch. You may eventually graduate to the advanced version of this stretch which is comprised of draping the towel over your good shoulder. Use your affected arm to hold the base of the towel and slowly pull it toward your lower lumbar region of your back with you unaffected arm.

Armpit Stretch

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Utilize your good arm to lift your sore arm onto a shelf or counter that is chest high. Slowly bend your knees and create space in the armpit region. Gradually deepen your knee bend and stretch out your armpit, each time stretching a bit further without pushing it. Repeat this stretch 10 to 20 times a day.

Outward Rotation Exercise

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Using a rubber exercise band can be really helpful to increase mobility within your shoulder joint. Hold the band at a ninety degree angle close to your sides. Rotate the bottom portion of your affected arm outwards 2 to 3 inches and hold in place for 5 seconds. Complete this exercise once a day, 10 to 15 times.


Inward Rotation

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Utilize your rubber exercise bands again for this exercise. Hook one portion of your band onto the doorknob of a closed door. Grasp the free end of the band with your hand of the affected arm. Hold your elbow at a ninety degree angle. Slowly pull the band toward your body 2 to 3 inches and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat this micro stretch 10 to 15 repetitions once daily.

Cross-Body Reach

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Complete this stretch either sitting or standing. Utilize your good arm to lift your sore arm at the elbow; positioning it up and across your chest. Exert gentle pressure with your unaffected arm to gradually stretch the shoulder. Hold each stretch for 15 to 20 seconds and repeat this stretch ten to twenty times daily.


Vida Chiropractic Wants You to Enjoy a Pain Free Lifestyle!

Incorporating these isolated stretching exercises into your daily routine will dramatically help you increase the circulation within your shoulder joint and combat your Frozen Shoulder symptoms. Working at home between your chiropractic appointments will help you speed up your healing capacity.

Once strength and motion returns to the affected shoulder, we will incorporate some rotator cuff exercises into the mix. It is very important to be patient with yourself along the way. We understand how frustrating it can be to have to cancel your tee time or push through in discomfort. Let Vida Chiropractic help you attain your broadest range of motion and say goodbye to Frozen Shoulder once and for all! Call our office today to schedule your appointment!


Hear our very own Dr. Brian Bittle speak about Frozen Shoulder here –

In our experience people who suffer from a frozen shoulder, experience it mainly due to the weakness or irritation of nerves coming from the neck that supply the shoulder. Come in and get a nerve scan to check! Call us at 250.861.5444 to book your appointment today