Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is a common shoulder-related condition that causes pain, discomfort, and stiffness in the shoulder joint. Typically, it affects people between the ages of 40 and 70 as their shoulder joint’s range of motion gets reduced due to inflammation, extended periods of no use due to an injury, or repetitive motions. Not using the shoulder can exacerbate the symptoms, so you must perform massages and stretches for a frozen shoulder. They will help alleviate pain and increase mobility. 

Here are some stretches and massages for a frozen shoulder.

Stretches for a Frozen Shoulder

Before you stretch your shoulder muscles, warm up your body by gently stretching your arms and using a heating pad on the impacted area. 

Here are some stretches for a frozen shoulder to try out for pain relief and mobility:

Cross-Body Reach

Put your unaffected hand on the affected elbow and draw that arm across your body. Gently put pressure to lift your elbow so that your shoulder can stretch. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds before letting go. Repeat at least five times. 

Hand Behind Your Back

This frozen shoulder stretch demands more mobility, so you might have to lead up to it. Stand in place and put your affected arm behind your back. Use the other arm’s hand to hold your affected arm’s wrist. Slowly stretch the affected arm by moving it toward the opposite side of your body behind you. Move the arm as far up as you can and hold that position for a few seconds. Repeat the stretch five times. 

Pendulum Swing

To perform this frozen shoulder stretch, stand up and put your unaffected hand on the edge of a chair or table. Slightly lean forward and put your affected arm alongside your body while holding a light dumbbell in it. Swing the arm forward and backward and then side to side. Swing your arms in circles in both directions. Perform each movement ten times. 

Massages for a Frozen Shoulder

Here are some massages for a frozen shoulder you can attempt at home or in the presence of a physiotherapist:


Use your other arm’s hand to massage the affected arm and shoulder. Ensure to gently massage the sensitive areas and move your affected arm as you massage for maximum impact.

Foam Roller Shoulder Massage

Put a foam roller under the affected arm’s underarm. Extend your arm while keeping the hand of the affected arm extended upward. Roll your shoulder back and forth a few times. 

Use a Massager

Depending on the extent of your frozen shoulder and your physician’s guidance, you can use an electronic massage tool to relieve tension and increase mobility in your shoulder and arm. Roll the massaging tool on your trigger points and tender areas. 

Lastly, always talk to your physician before utilizing massages and stretches for a frozen shoulder. A wrong turn or exercise can worsen your condition. Dr. Larson will be able to assess your condition and provide further guidance. If your frozen shoulder does not get better from exercise and medication, you might need surgical intervention. Dr Larson is accepting patients, to schedule with him, just click here.