If you’re tired of chronic shoulder pain and stiffness, discover how physical therapy can help. To request a phone call to speak with one of the physical therapists in our Austin office, click here.

Check out how proper manual therapy and stretching techniques, under the guidance of a professional, can bring you back to the healthy, pain-free life you deserve. 

Treatment for Frozen Shoulder—External Rotation Mobilization

In 2008, I was referred by my General Practitioner to a sports medicine physician for a worsening condition with my left shoulder. Over a period of about 18 months my shoulder became more and more painful and inflexible. I could not reach behind my back or easily put on a shirt at that point.

The sports medicine physician suspected a torn rotator cuff and ordered two different MRI’s – one without contrast and then one with contrast dye.  The tests confirmed that it was NOT a rotator cuff issue and I was referred to a another sports medicine doctor – a shoulder specialist at a large prestigious sports medicine practice in Austin.

The new doctor took one look at my shoulder and declared that I had bursitis and proceeded to give me a cortisone injection (so painful I passed out in his office) and predicted I would be cured by morning.This prediction proved to be wrong and he sent me to his in-house Physical Therapist for the traditional shoulder exercises to see what would happen.

I eventually shared my saga with my friend at Carter Physical Therapy who listened to my story and immediately suspected that I had a condition called a Frozen Shoulder. He explained that he had recently studied some innovative treatments for this frustrating condition and offered to treat me.  He began a series of manual adjustment and massage treatments on my shoulder about once a week. Within six weeks I was pain free and had regained normal mobility in the shoulder and two years later no symptoms have returned.

The therapists at Carter Physiotherapy were knowledgeable and dramatically more effective than the two specialists I saw. Their treatment actually fixed the problem.They have a kind and compassionate bedside manner and you know the first time you meet them that they really care about the wellbeing of their patients. You are truly in good hands when you put yourself in their care.


If you are dealing with shoulder pain and would like to know if we can help, call or text us at (512) 693-8849.

Or you’d rather not speak on the phone, you can click here to send us an email.

Video Transcription

(please excuse grammatical errors and the conversational nature of the transcription):

“Okay, so this is a lot of moving parts. You got to get your belts set up such that I like it where you don’t have to have your foot on the ground but to be able to have my foot stable on the ground. So this needs to be lock down the table height such that the arm can rest in your leg if necessary.

This is long enough to where it reaches down just almost to the ground there. You are setting it up right in anterior side of the humerus so that you can create a posterior guide. The idea is what kind of angle attraction and what kind of glides we do to make it pain free to go to ingrain external rotation with none of these but you gotta ingrain it hurts her and that’s probably just gonna flare up. So if we add the posterior kinda inferior glide a little inferior and a little bit angled towards me because we know that the point of the joint is not AP but it’s actually the escaption plain.

So we keep escaption plan in mind, you pull down, out toward yourself and a little bit and obviously posterior sometimes that alone you can take on the ingrain with little pain. What we found with her is that we need to add a little traction as well. So through the form with my right hand here and I’m holding this in place so then it doesn’t slide off the position. You add the traction and ingrain. Ask the patient about the pain.

And that now I can either decide to do progressive repetition stretches of the capsule or if you want to hold and just do a long hold, you need to keep monitoring, making sure that it remains pain free because of the long hold obviously or multiple repetitions where there is even smaller amount of pain as probably gonna flare them up. But there’s a great thing to do for really shoulder that stiff especially that hits but especially escapsulated shoulder.”

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