Yoga for Frozen Shoulder

Written by Dr. Minakshi Welukar.

Yoga unveils its amazing power in freeing the joints of frozen shoulder. Building of muscular strength, improving range of motion and joint flexibility, yoga is the natural way to reduce the discomfort of frozen shoulder.

downward dog

Frozen shoulder is a shoulder contracture characterized by a hot, painful and stiff shoulder joint. Achy and swollen shoulder joints limit common activities of your daily routine triggering periods of stress and anxiety.

Understanding Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is the result of inflammation and thickening of a shoulder capsule. Shoulder capsule is made up of fibrous tissues and strengthened by muscles and tendons to stabilize the shoulder joint. Adhesion of fibrous tissues due to inflammation restricts the full opening of a joint capsule. Resultant immobility of a shoulder joint limits its movements in all directions. The condition is commonly encountered with shoulder injury, shoulder surgery and diabetes.

Instability in the shoulder leads to feelings of tension and tightness in the joint. This gets more challenging and worsens as you find yourself struggling with physical activities of daily life.

Appropriate treatment when started early will help to keep the joint mobile and pain free.

Overcoming Frozen Shoulder with Yoga

Yoga plays a significant role in both prevention and healing of frozen shoulder. Yoga poses help to gain a full range of motion of a shoulder joint that restores joint flexibility and reduces the period of disability.

Before starting yoga for a frozen shoulder it is utmost importance to note location, extent and nature of a problem. This can be achieved by comparing range, direction and movements of affected joint with normal joint.

Benefits of Yoga in Frozen Shoulder

Yoga is great in relieving pain and stiffness of frozen shoulder in the following ways:

Regain joint flexibility

Gentle but dynamic yoga poses warms up the shoulder joint and frees up the spaces in the shoulder. Yoga opens the shoulder and chest area. This relieves stiffness and permits full and pain-less shoulder movements. The increased flexibility helps to improve functionality of a shoulder joint.

Initiate healing process

Yoga reduces the level of inflammatory compounds that are responsible for hot and swollen joint. By limiting inflammation, yoga accelerates the healing process.

Improve range of motion

Yoga maintains existing joint function and prevents further loss of range of movement and strength. Yoga poses practiced with a concentrated mind brings awareness about range of motion in a shoulder joint.

Achieve alignment and stability

Yoga strengthens the muscles of your arms and chest and improves muscular alignment. This helps to keep the shoulder in good alignment and maintain joint stability.

Yoga Poses to address Frozen Shoulder

It’s always safe to start these poses as soon as possible to prevent further discomfort and lower the risk of further disability.

  1. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward dog)
  2. Tadasana (Mountain pose)
  3. Ardhachandrasana (Half-moon pose)
  4. Hasthauthanasana (Raised hands pose)
  5. Gomukhasana (Cow face pose)
  6. Garudasana (Eagle pose)
  7. Prasarita Padittanasana (Wide-legged forward bend)
  8. Rarivrtta parsvakonasana (Revolved side angle pose)
  9. Dhanurasana (Bow pose)
  10. Ustrasana (Camel pose)
  11. Bharadvajasana (Seated spinal twist)

Along with a regular practice of yoga, try to pay attention to your everyday lifestyle activities. Proper sitting posture and healthy eating patterns have a major role in maintaining joint health.

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