The global prevalence of diabetes has grown dramatically in the last few decades, and presently affects millions of people around the world says physiotherapist Dr. Varis. Diabetics need to control the blood sugar level in their body otherwise, it could lead to long-term complications, such as heart problems, muscle cramps, arteriosclerosis (blocked arteries), and many more.

Daily exercises help to keep the heart healthy and manage the cholesterol level in the body. Diabetics have high glucose levels in their blood because, either their body is not able to produce enough insulin to process glucose, or their body does not use insulin properly. This leads to the formation of various joint disorders associated with diabetes, and among them, shoulder issues such as the frozen shoulder are observed quite commonly in diabetic patients.

A frozen shoulder is characterized by pain, thick adhesions, and significant loss of its range of motion in every direction. And exercises are usually, helpful in restoring shoulder joint movement. In this blog, Gurgaon’s eminent physiotherapist Dr Saed Varis, who is an expert physio in treating frozen shoulder share a few exercises for frozen shoulders.

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Frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis, is painful along with loss of shoulder motion, which happens occurs in phases. It begins with pain and stiffness, that persists for 2 to 6 months. Then it evolves into a less painful, but stiff besides complete loss of specific movements. Generally, after months to years of the onset, there is spontaneous improvement in the range of motion. Physiotherapy treatment concentrates on decreasing pain, and inflammation, and boosting the range of motion.

Exercise for Frozen Shoulder

Prior to doing these exercises do warm up by having a warm shower or bath for 10 to 15 minutes.

Flexion Extension Exercises

  • You need to sit or stand and use an exercise rod or band.
  • Gently bend your arm and shoulder muscles.
  • Lift the rod or band over your head and behind your back.

 Pendulum Stretch

  • Relax your shoulders.
  • Stand and lean slightly forward, so that your affected arm hangs down.
  • Swing your arm in a small circle in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions approximately a foot in diameter.

Towel Stretch

  • Hold one end of a towel behind your back and grab the opposite end with your other hand.
  • Hold the towel in a horizontal position. Use your unaffected arm to pull the impacted arm upward so that the stretch is felt.

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 Finger Walk

  • Face a wall at your arm’s length.
  • Reach for the wall at waist level through the fingertips of the impacted arm. Bend your elbow slightly, and slowly walk the fingers up the wall, till your arm is raised as far as comfortable.
  • Never involve the shoulder muscles.

Cross-body Reach

  • Sit or stand and use your good arm to lift the impacted arm at the elbow, and bring it up and across your body, putting gentle pressure to stretch the shoulder.
  • Hold the stretch for a good 20 seconds.

 Armpit Stretch

  • Use the unimpacted arm to lift the impacted arm onto a shelf nearly chest height.
  • Slowly bend your knees and open up the armpit.
  • Deepen your knee bend slightly, gently stretch your armpit, and then straighten.
  • Stretch a bit further having each knee bend, without forcing it.

 Outward Rotation

  • Hold an exercise band between your hands with the elbows at a 90 degrees angle close to the sides.
  • Rotate your lower part of the impacted arm outward 2 or 3 inches and hold it for 5 seconds.

Inward Rotation

  • Stand next to a closed door, and hook one end of your exercise band around the doorknob.
  • Hold the other end of your hand on the affected arm, while holding the elbow at a 90 degrees angle.
  • Pull the band toward the body 2 to 3 inches and hold for 5 seconds.

 Hand-behind-back Stretch

  • Stand and place the impacted arm behind your back.
  • Use your opposite hand to take hold of this wrist.
  • Stretch the impacted arm by moving it towards your opposite buttock.
  • Slowly move it as far up as you can.
  • Hold this position for some seconds.

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Umbrella Push

  • Sit in a chair with your elbows alongside the body.
  • To hold an umbrella in front, use an overhand grip.
  • Use the unimpacted arm to push the impacted arm over to the side.
  • Keep your elbow of the impacted arm drawn in at the side.
  • Return to your starting position.

While doing these exercises, do them gradually and hold your arm at the endpoint of the range of motion for some seconds. Slowly release the stretch and repeat. Never perform forceful movements since they can elicit pain.