Treatment depends on stage and irritability of the patient. If the patient has low to moderate irritability and demonstrates capsular restriction, research shows that posterior and inferior glides may be beneficial toward improving pain and range of motion in these individuals! (Click image to watch 1-2 minute video)
Research demonstrates moderate evidence to support the use of stretching exercises in individuals with adhesive capsulitis. Exercises should be matched to patient tolerance; if open chain proves to be too difficult, light closed chain range of motion exercises may be a better choice! (Click image to watch 1-2 minute video)
*Clinical Side Note: When working with individuals with adhesive capsulitis it is important to remember that the process could last 12-18 months with symptoms potentially being present longer. Education on the process and managing patient expectations is an integral part of the rehabilitation process. Depending on the stage of adhesive capsulitis, as well as clinical judgement, it may be beneficial to postpone use of patient visits until progress can be made!