frozen shoulder.

Pain Management for Frozen Shoulder

If you are experiencing pain, loss of motion, and tightness in your shoulder joint, you may be experiencing what is called “frozen shoulder”. Frozen shoulder develops gradually and, without intervention, worsens over time. It can turn easy tasks, such as raising your arms to put on clothing, reaching for something on a high shelf, or even moving your arm behind your back, into incredibly painful ones. This condition usually only happens to one of the shoulders but can spread to both. Early assessment of your shoulder pain to diagnose frozen shoulder puts you on the path to regained mobility and pain relief, and physical therapy is a beneficial, non-invasive process for treatment.

Woman holding her shoulder from frozen shoulder pain.

What is “Frozen Shoulder”

Frozen shoulder is a condition that affects your ability to move your shoulder easily and without pain. Although we don’t know any precise causes for frozen shoulder, we can identify what makes the condition appear.

The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the body. This “ball-and-socket joint” is made up of three bones: your upper arm bone (the humerus), your shoulder blade (the scapula), and your collarbone (the clavicle). The head (also called a “ball”) of your upper arm bone fits into the glenoid, a rounded socket in your shoulder blade. These bones are joined together by muscles, ligaments and tendons that support and stabilize the shoulder, allowing the arm to function. All these moving parts, so to speak, make the shoulder the most mobile joint in your body with the greatest range of motion. Unfortunately, it is also the least stable joint. This means it is more susceptible to conditions that can cause shoulder pain, such as frozen shoulder. In medical terms, frozen shoulder is known as “adhesive capsulitis”.

Do you have shoulder pain?

Our physical therapists will customize a rehabilitation plan for frozen shoulder pain.  We will work in an effective way to get you back on your feet, focused on your wellness before, during and after therapy.

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Insurances We Accept

Below is a condensed list of insurances we participate with throughout our network of physical therapy clinics.  Find your particular provider below based on your area.
For a complete listing of all insurance providers and individual plans by name: CLICK HERE FOR OUR FULL INSURANCE PAGE.


New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

  • Aetna (NY, NJ, CT)
  • AmeriHealth (NJ)
  • Anthem BCBS (CT)
  • Bardavon (Workers' Compensation – NY, NJ, CT)
  • Cigna/ASH (NY, NJ, CT)
  • CIGNA - Medicare (NY, NJ)
  • Claims Resolution Corp (Workers' Compensation – NJ)
  • ClearComp (Workers' Compensation – NY, NJ)
  • Clover Health Medicare Advantage (NJ)
  • Comp X (Workers' Compensation – NJ)
  • ConnectiCare (CT)
  • Department of Labor (Workers' Compensation – NY, NJ, CT)
  • Empire BCBS (Individual Providers In Network – NY)
  • Empire Plan MPN (UHC – NY, NJ)
  • Fidelis Wellcare (NJ)
  • First MCO (Workers' Compensation – NJ)
  • GHI (Emblem Health – NY, NJ, CT)
  • HIP (Emblem Health – NY)
  • Horizon BCBS (NJ)
  • Horizon Casualty (Workers' Compensation – NJ)
  • Independence BCBS (Southern NJ)
  • Magna Care (NY, NJ, CT)
  • Magna Comp (Workers' Compensation – NY, NJ, CT)
  • Medicare (NY, NJ, CT)
  • MedRisk (Workers' Compensation – NY, NJ, CT)
  • MultiPlan (NY, NJ, CT)
  • New Jersey Manufacturers (NJM - Workers' Compensation - NJ)
  • No Fault (Various Carriers)
  • Northwell Health Clinical Integration Network IPA (NY)
  • OccuNet (NJ)
  • One Call (Workers' Compensation - NY, NJ, CT
  • Oscar Health Plan (NY, NJ)
  • Oxford (Optum - NY, NJ, CT)
  • Providers Edge Scheduling Group/PESG (Workers' Compensation - NJ)
  • QualCare (NJ)
  • Qual-Lynx (Workers' Compensation – NJ)
  • SPNET (Workers' Compensation - NY, NJ, CT)
  • Streamline (Workers' Compensation – NJ)
  • United Health Care (Optum - NY, NJ, CT)
  • VACCN (Optum - NY, NJ, CT)
  • WellCare (NY)
  • Workers' Compensation (Various Carriers)

Massachusetts, New Hampshire

  • Aetna (MA, NH)
  • Ambetter/NH Healthy Families (NH)
  • Amerihealth Caritas (effective date 4/27/2020 - NH)
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield (NH)
  • Bardavon (Workers' Compensation – MA, NH)
  • BCBS Massachusetts (MA)
  • CeltiCare (MA)
  • Cigna/ASH (NH)
  • Commonwealth Care Alliance (MA)
  • Fallon Health (MA)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (MA, NH)
  • Health New England (MA)
  • MaineCare (NH)
  • Magna Care (MA, NH)
  • Magna Comp (Workers' Compensation – MA, NH)
  • Martin’s Point Health Care (NH)
  • Mass General Brigham Health (Formerly AllWays Health Partners)
  • Massachusetts Health (Medicaid – MA)
  • Medicaid (MA, NH)
  • Medicare (MA, NH)
  • Med Risk (Workers' Compensation – MA)
  • ML Healthcare (NF – MA, NH)
  • No Fault (Various Carriers)
  • Omni Healthcare (MVA Lien – MA, NH)
  • One Call (Workers' Compensation – MA, NH)
  • SPNET (Workers' Compensation – MA, NH)
  • Streamline (Workers' Compensation – MA, NH)
  • Tufts Cigna (MA)
  • Tufts Health Plan (MA, NH)
  • Tufts Medicare Advantage (MA)
  • Tufts Public (Medicaid – MA)
  • UniCare (MA)
  • United Health Care (Optum – MA, NH)
  • WellSense Health (Formerly BMC – Boston Medical Center – MA)
  • Workers’ Compensation (Various Carriers)


What causes Frozen Shoulder?

Adhesive capsulitis happens when the connective tissue surrounding your shoulder joint, known as the “shoulder joint capsule”, becomes inflamed and develops scarring. These scar formations are called “adhesions”. Normally, the shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. However, when adhesions and inflammation of the shoulder joint capsule develop, it prevents the normal gliding movement of the shoulder, restricting shoulder movement and making moving the joint painful.

When your shoulder mobility is compromised and painful, you are less likely to use the joint as typically or as often as you would. In essence, it becomes “frozen” in its position. Lack of use due to pain and restricted mobility, whether it is caused by injury, surgery, or various health conditions, can result in the development of frozen shoulder.

What Are Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder symptoms are dependent on how long the condition has been present. These symptoms also last for varied amounts of time. Because of this, the development of frozen symptoms can be broken down into three stages:


During this initial stage, shoulder movement becomes painful, and mobility starts to decrease. Pain may increase at night and generally increases over time. The freezing stage can last six weeks to nine months.


While pain may diminish slightly during this stage, the shoulder becomes stiffer and its range of motion decreases. This stage can last four to six months.


 As its name suggests, this stage is one of recovery from frozen shoulder. The ability to move the shoulder improves, pain lessens, and range of motion begins to come back. The process of improving shoulder function, or the “thawing” of the shoulder, can take six months to two years.

When Should I Seek Physical Therapy for Frozen Shoulder?

If you are experiencing symptoms of or have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder, when can you benefit from physical therapy? The answer: Any time! The main goal of physical therapy is to improve your daily quality of life by providing care that helps decrease your pain and increase your mobility. Professional’s physical therapists work with you to assess and address your frozen shoulder symptoms and severity to create a personalized treatment plan for your pain.

Shoulder pain can show up in a variety of ways and it can be tricky to identify when it is time to seek medical attention. A good rule of thumb is to seek attention as soon as the pain is noticeable, especially if it starts to interfere with your everyday activities. Identifying frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, as the source of your shoulder pain is the first step to treating it. Professional’s physical therapists will discuss your concerns with you, examine your current physical limitations, and create a plan to address your pain and help curb the onset of additional or worsening symptoms. Addressing the issue as soon as possible is key to helping you relieve ongoing pain, regain mobility, and prevent potential complications from untreated adhesive capsulitis.


What Can I Expect From Physical Therapy for Frozen Shoulder?

Physical therapy is a first line of defense for frozen shoulder. Because immobility plays a big role in its appearance, joint manipulation, stretching, and mobility exercises are key to preventing both the development and the worsening of frozen shoulder. Professional’s expert physical therapists will assess your symptoms, provide a better understanding of your condition, and create a comprehensive personalized program that aims to relieve pain and restore shoulder mobility and range of motion. They will also recommend at-home exercises to help in your recovery. Our goals are aligned: To get you back to everyday life, pain-free!

Convenient physical therapy clinics near you

We provide Frozen Shoulder pain relief from our physical therapy clinics throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.  Fill out the form above, or contact a clinic near you to speak with a Professional Physical Therapist and shoulder pain specialist today.

Get physical therapy for frozen shoulder

We will work together to manage your shoulder pain during and after therapy.