Looking for physiotherapy?
You can access a range of treatments on a pay as you go basis, including physiotherapy.
To book or to make an enquiry, call us on 0370 218 6528∧
There are two main signs of frozen shoulder. The first is a dull or aching pain in your affected shoulder. This may feel worse at night or when you move your shoulder joint.
Another symptom is stiffness around your shoulder joint. This can affect your ability to move your shoulder normally. Read our section on Frozen shoulder symptoms to find out more.
There isn't enough evidence to say whether acupuncture can help with frozen shoulder symptoms.
But some physiotherapists do offer it. Ask your physiotherapist more about this therapy and how it might help you. It’s your choice whether to try it. See our Treatment section for more information.
If you have a frozen shoulder, it’s likely to feel stiff and painful. You may have trouble moving it like you normally would. Frozen shoulder can often develop in stages. You might have pain first of all that slowly gets worse. Then the pain may get better, but it feels stiff. You can find out more in our Symptoms section.
Frozen shoulder will get better on its own, but this can take a long time. Physiotherapy can really help with improving your pain and movement. You can also have injections into your joint to reduce pain. If these treatments aren’t helping, surgery can help to fix a frozen shoulder. You can read more in our Treatment section.
Did our Frozen shoulder information help you?
We’d love to hear what you think. Our short survey takes just a few minutes to complete and helps us to keep improving our health information.
This information was published by Bupa's Health Content Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals and deemed accurate on the date of review. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition.
Any information about a treatment or procedure is generic, and does not necessarily describe that treatment or procedure as delivered by Bupa or its associated providers.
The information contained on this page and in any third party websites referred to on this page is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice nor is it intended to be for medical diagnosis or treatment. Third party websites are not owned or controlled by Bupa and any individual may be able to access and post messages on them. Bupa is not responsible for the content or availability of these third party websites. We do not accept advertising on this page.
- Adhesive capsulitis. BMJ Best Practice. bestpractice.bmj.com, last reviewed 1 November 2022
- Frozen shoulder. Patient. patient.info, last edited 24 November 2021
- Shoulder pain. NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries. cks.nice.org.uk, last revised November 2022
- Mezian K, Coffey R, Chang KV. Frozen shoulder. StatPearls Publishing. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books, last updated 29 August 2022
- Rangan A, Goodchild L, Gibson J, et al. BESS/BOA patient care pathways: frozen shoulder. Shoulder Elbow 2015; 7(4):299–307
- Hanchard NC, Goodchild L, Thompson J, et al. Evidence-based clinical guidelines for the diagnosis, assessment and physiotherapy management of contracted (frozen) shoulder: quick reference summary. Physiotherapy 2012; 98(2):117–20. doi: 10.1016/j.physio.2012.01.001
- Shoulder pain. Versus Arthritis. www.versusarthritis.org, accessed 1 December 2022
- Electronic pain relief (TENS). Versus Arthritis. www.versusarthritis.org, accessed 1 December 2022
- Brealey S, Northgraves M, Kottam L, et al. Surgical treatments compared with early structured physiotherapy in secondary care for adults with primary frozen shoulder: the UK FROST three-arm RCT. Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library; 2020 Dec. (Health Technology Assessment, No. 24.71.): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK565284/ doi: 10.3310/hta24710
- Find a Chartered Physiotherapist. Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. www.csp.org.uk, last reviewed 1 June 2022
- Cunningham G, Charbonnier C, Lädermann A, et al. Shoulder motion analysis during Codman pendulum exercises. Arthrosc Sports Med Rehabil 2020; 2(4):e333-e339. doi: 10.1016/j.asmr.2020.04.013
- Exercises for the shoulders. Versus Arthritis. www.versusarthritis.org, accessed 6 December 2022
- Video exercises for shoulder pain. Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. www.csp.org.uk, last reviewed 30 July 2020