Frozen shoulder – what is it and what to do about it

Have you been diagnosed with frozen shoulder? Here is a brief summary on what it is, what to expect, and what can be done about it.

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is a poor and exaggerated response by the body to an injury to the shoulder.  It is unknown what causes it, but it is more prevalent in women, if you’re in your middle ages, and in those with diabetes.  There are 3 stages to this nasty condition:

Freezing stage: this stage can last weeks to months.  The capsule around the shoulder starts to stiffen and scar and you lose significant movement in the shoulder.  It is also very painful during this stage!

Frozen stage: again, this stage can last for months.  During this stage, the shoulder becomes less painful, but it is still very limited in movement.

Thawing stage: the shoulder begins to settle in pain and stiffness.  Finally, you will be able to regain some function to your shoulder.

How to Treat Frozen Shoulder?

During the freezing stage, anti-inflammatories and/or a corticosteroid injection may help to settle the pain and irritation.  During the frozen stage, you guessed it, physical therapy, can be started to get the shoulder stronger and moving again.  During the thawing stage you will get the most gains from physical therapy.  It is important you get hands on physical therapy.  This article shows that joint mobilizations in addition to exercise is far superior in regaining your range of motion and function than exercises alone.  You will be in good hands at our clinic, as during every session you will receive hands on treatment to massage and stretch tight muscles and tissues, mobilizations to your shoulder and shoulder blade, and perhaps acupuncture or dry needling to treat your pain and trigger points.

Please contact our clinic if you have any further questions or would like to book an appointment.

Staffing Update

We would like to wish Colin James all the best as he continues his physical therapy career in St. Albert.  We would also like to welcome Stephanie Jones to our team of physical therapists.  She brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge of hockey injuries in particular and we are excited to have her on board.  She will be available during our peak hours in the afternoons and evenings, Monday through Friday.

Running season is coming! Here are some tips for training and preventing injury

Elizabeth Clark, one of our physical therapists, is training for another marathon and sharing her advice for those who are starting up their running season. Through her talks at The Running Room, here are answers to some of the common questions she gets from runners.

Running Room Presentation

If you have any questions or would like to get further assessed, feel free to contact us at 780-756-3535 to book an appointment with Elizabeth.

Torn ACL? Surgery may NOT be the answer!

I recently attended a talk on ACL injuries in the knee and whether surgery was necessarily the best option for treatment.  The key points from the talk were:

  • Managing expectations is always the key – it is important to realize that you may not get your old knee back with surgery!  Even with surgery, you may not be able to return to sports like before. Post ACL repair there is also a high risk for re-injury of the ACL again; in females it is in the opposite knee, and in males the same injured knee.
  • After 5 weeks of physical therapy rehab post injury, you’ll have a good indication of how your knee will recover.  It is possible to return to high level sports with torn ACL’s!
  • Delaying surgery up to 6 months post injury may be more beneficial, as this allows time for the inflammation to settle and the knee to recover in strength prior to deciding whether surgery is required.  A recent long term study showed that after 2 years, there were few differences in knee function and return to high level sports in those who had surgery versus those who did not.

So the take home message is that physical therapy is important post ACL injury.  Physical therapy may be all that you need to regain your function!

Attached are 2 articles that were discussed at the talk:


For more information, you can contact Janice at The Grange Clinic at 780-756-3535


Help us Bundle up the Bissell

The Bissell Centre in Edmonton is collecting gently used/new winter items to help those in need for the winter season.

The Grange clinic is happy to be teaming up with the initiative set forth by “Just Another Edmonton Mommy” Christine Bruckmann to help collect these items for the Bissell Centre.

We will be collecting items from January 11-22 so please drop by the clinic during our clinic hours.

Thanks for your help in this great cause!

– The Grange Staff

Hot stone massage now offered at The Grange clinic

Therapeutic hot stones provide an excellent way to relax your body while simultaneously soothing sore, overworked muscles.  The benefits include improved flexibility and circulation.

We use hot stones to glide over the body, allowing heat to penetrate deep into the muscles without the need of deep pressure.

Please see our massage therapy page for more information:

To book an appointment, please contact our Grange clinic at 780-756-3535 and ask to book an appointment with massage therapist  Emily Ahlf.

Remembrance Day

Our clinics will be open today, but we gather together in remembrance of all those who have given. At 11:00 am we will take a moment of silence. Lest we forget the courage and sacrifices our veterans have made to keep us strong, proud, and free.

Arthroscopic knee surgery for the degenerative knee: is it worth it?

A recent article looked at the harms and benefits of arthroscopic surgery for those middle aged and older with knee pain and degeneration.  Interestingly, they found that post surgery there were only mild short term benefits in pain lasting less than 2 years and no benefits in terms of physical function.  There were also harms such as deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, infection, and death associated with surgery.  In conclusion they did not support arthroscopic knee surgery to treat knee pain and degeneration in middle aged or older patients.

Read the full article here:

Physical therapy, on the other hand, has been found to be effective in treating knee pain secondary to osteoarthritis.  Those who kept up with exercises were also found to have better results.  Adverse events were uncommon and not severe enough to stop any patients from continuing treatments.

Read more on the benefits of physical therapy for knee osteoarthritis here:

A Thank You to Teachers

School’s out for the summer!  The Grange Physical Therapy would like to recognize the hard work of teachers and offer all teachers a 10% discount off massage therapy treatments until August 31, 2015.  Our massage therapists, Cindy Bacchus and Manuel Torres, are both experienced Registered Massage Therapists, and we offer direct billing for massage therapy to Blue Cross.  Please contact the clinic at 780-756-3535 to schedule an appointment.