Weekend Challenge: Frozen Shoulder Preventer And Reverser

This Weekend Challenge is a range-of-motion exercise that is instrumental in preventing and reversing “frozen shoulder,” a painful condition that can significantly impede your ability to exercise and perform everyday tasks.

By increasing shoulder mobility and working muscles that pull the shoulder blades back, the Frozen Shoulder Preventer And Reverser also improves overall posture, opens the chest, and expands the rib cage.

Let’s get to it!

Why:

If you’ve ever suffered from a frozen shoulder, then you understand how frustrating and painful it can be. Formally known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder begins in the connective tissue of the joint. This tissue is encapsulated by more connective tissue, and when this capsule thickens and becomes tight, the joint stiffens and movement is painful and difficult.

The causes of frozen shoulder vary with each individual, with injury or surgery followed by an extended period of immobility being significant causal factors. Frozen shoulder may also occur in individuals with diabetes and the compromised circulation that often accompanies it.

Age and gender play a role, too – people over the age of 40 are at a higher risk for developing frozen shoulder than younger individuals, and women develop the condition more often than men.

Conventional treatment for frozen shoulder often involves corticosteroid injections into the shoulder joint, which ultimately compromises the joint’s integrity and health. Usually, range-of-motion exercises like this Weekend Challenge are also indicated in treatment. At the Save Institute, we never take the “drug route,” but always recommend drug-free options like targeted exercise instead. That’s what the Weekend Challenges are all about!

How Do You Know It’s A Frozen Shoulder?

It’s best if your health practitioner examines you to get an accurate diagnosis, but here are some key symptoms that can indicate a frozen shoulder. Generally, there are three stages: in stage 1, known as ‘Freezing,’ the shoulder is in the process of “freezing up,” and you’ll experience pain when you move your shoulder certain ways. You’ll also notice that you can’t move your shoulder as far or as well as before.

In stage 2, also known as the ‘Frozen stage,’ your shoulder may actually experience less pain, but much more limited movement. You’ll find it difficult to move your shoulder at all.

Stage 3 is called the “Thawing stage,” when the pain and stiffness begin to ease, and you can move your shoulder more easily. Mobility increases with time, with movement becoming easier even daily.

If you’re facing surgery anywhere in your upper body that requires your shoulder and arm to be kept still for a long time after (such as a mastectomy, rotator cuff repair, etc.), then the following exercise can help prevent a frozen shoulder during your recovery. Also, if you’re experiencing a medical condition that prevents you from moving your one or both of your shoulders, such as recovering from a stroke or a broken bone, then (with your doctor’s approval) this Weekend Challenge can help prevent your shoulder from freezing.

And finally, if you already have a frozen shoulder and need to increase mobility, the following move can help reverse the condition (once again, we recommend that you proceed with your doctor’s approval).

Remember, this exercise also flattens your upper back and brings your shoulder blades back, improving posture, and it opens your rib cage and chest to improve breathing.

Here’s how to do it.

How:

You’ll be going to the floor for this exercise, so grab a mat or something similar to make this more comfortable.

  1. Lie on your back on the floor, legs bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Raise your arms straight up, perpendicular to your chest, and place your hands flat together.
  3. Slowly move your arms up over your head, touching your thumbs to the floor over your head. Keep your elbows straight.
  4. Bring your arms back to the straight up position in step 2. Repeat step 3. Make sure your abdominal muscles and core muscles are engaged to keep your back flat on the floor. Don’t arch your back.
  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 ten to fifteen times, or as many times as you comfortably can.

We recommend following up with these other Weekend Challenges:

Shoulders can often get neglected in typical workouts. But a well-rounded exercise program is just as essential as a pH-balanced diet in reversing bone loss. Every bone and joint counts! And for Savers, moves that target the shoulders are vital. After all, proper shoulder positioning not only staves off and eases conditions like frozen shoulder, but also prevents a hunched upper back and other postural issues.

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As always, feel free to leave a comment below.

Have a great weekend!

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14 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Fart Nose McGee August 6, 2018, 12:21 pm

    Can you help me stop farting so much?

    • Jack McGerk August 6, 2018, 12:25 pm

      First of all when do you find you are farting the most? Is it something that you are eating? Perhaps you are making bad diet choices. I know that a few years ago my wife would chase me out of the bedroom with her farting. I found out that every afternoon she was eating a three bean salad. Well that was the culprit! I put an end to her eating such things and like magic no more farting!

      So check out your diet first- Best of Luck

      Jack

      • kathleen October 7, 2018, 11:57 am

        If you cook your beans with a one inch strip of Kombu sea weed you will not fart.

  2. Hugh Holdercummings July 27, 2018, 9:32 pm

    I received great benefit from your exercise tips. I have a question about my wife’s trigeminal neuralgia (diagnosis 2 weeks ago). She has had pain on left side of face above upper molars radiating to painful ear and neck. So painful she can’t lay her head on pillow on left side. Her doctor made diagnosis and did “dry needling” therapy. It helped for a while also with CBD oil pills. About 5 a day. Is there anything in your practice that would benefit? Thanks

    • kathleen October 7, 2018, 12:13 pm

      Look up oil pulling using sesame oil or organic coconut oil for 15 to 20 minuets a day, spitting into the trash can when finished. Then brushing with salt water. full info can be found on line. Also I find rinsing your tooth brush with peroxide – splash with water to remove peroxide before putting your tooth past on, then brush. once again full information ca be found on line by putting oil pulling into your browser.

  3. yvonne Hill July 22, 2018, 12:34 am

    Hi Vivian! been following your regular emails and was wondering your views on the suggestion that probiotics in powder form can reduce bone loss . I saw this on the news in Australia? best regards Yvonne.

  4. Claudine Waldo July 21, 2018, 5:14 pm

    I keep getting a recurring pain in the right side of my groin. Are there any stretches I can do to alleviate the pain?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 21, 2018, 5:46 pm

      Do you know the cause of your groin pain, Claudine? At the Save Institute we believe in getting to the root cause of problems. So we unfortunately can’t recommend stretches for you at this time, but we do recommend that if you don’t know what’s causing the pain, you take action to find out. Feel better soon!

  5. Linda Dey July 21, 2018, 10:39 am

    What is a good exercise to repair thoracic outlet syndrome? Thank you for your persistence.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 21, 2018, 12:01 pm

      There are several types of thoracic outlet syndrome. Most often, the exercises recommended involve the shoulders, arms, shoulder blades (scapulae), and chest. We suggest you consult with a physical therapist to get a clear picture of your condition, and then get customized exercises for it. We wish you a full recovery!

      • Kathryn G Weathers July 21, 2018, 1:21 pm

        I had a frozen shoulder received by an assault at work. I went to a sports doctor who worked on the Houston Oilers football team.
        He said he would not do any surgery on me as I am a small boned woman.
        I came to his office 3 times a week and worked with stretch bands, tearing a part the strings that had grown when I did not move my shoulder.

        After doing some good work, he sent me home with instructions.

        1) Place a strong outdoor hook (like you wanted to hang a plant on) into a solid wood ceiling beam. Then make or buy a strong pulley system, with a plastic hand loop on each end. Hook the pulley system on the hook attached to the ceiling beam.

        Keep two plastic zip bags full of water. One in the freezer and one you can warm in the microwave. Place the freezer bag, after you crack the ice up with a hammer and place it on the injured shoulder, off and on for 5 minutes.

        Now you can place you place each hand on the pulley hand straps. Pull down on your healthy side, and up on the injured side. Don’t worry if the first 5 to 7 days you aren’t able to move your arm very high.

        Just do it daily. You will be surprised at how soon you will raise your arm in small advances each day. Do this for at least 3 to four weeks.

        Do see a doctor first. Get his OK for your condition to use this system.
        You need to be sure you will not create more damage to your injury.

        I have had full use of my arm since it was injured in 1988. Best of luck to anyone who has a frozen shoulder!

        • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 21, 2018, 5:42 pm

          Thanks for sharing this valuable information, Kathyrn!

  6. Patricia July 21, 2018, 10:19 am

    My shoulder was hurting me for months now, and I couldn’t figure out why! I tried this exercise and it feels better already, so thank you Vivian. I will do this and the other ones every day.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 21, 2018, 11:57 am

      We’re glad to know you’re motivated to exercise, Patricia!

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