Is Swimming a Good Exercise for Frozen Shoulders?

Swimming is an excellent exercise method, but is swimming a good exercise for frozen shoulder? If you are experiencing this condition, swimming will be your best bet as an ice breaker. 

It's also going to be good for you in many other ways as well. Here's what you need to know about symptoms, why frozen shoulder occurs, and why swimming can be an effective treatment for frozen shoulder. 

Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder

Here are five symptoms of frozen shoulder to look out for:

  1. Pain and stiffness in the shoulder: This is the most common symptom of a frozen shoulder. You may feel a dull ache in your shoulder that gets worse with movement.
  2. Difficulty moving the shoulder: As the condition progresses, you may have trouble moving your shoulder. This may make it difficult to perform everyday tasks such as reaching for something or combing your hair.
  3. Limited range of motion: Frozen shoulder often leads to a loss of motion in the affected shoulder. This may make it difficult to raise your arm above your head or rotate it.
  4. Weakness in the shoulder: You may feel weakness in your shoulder as the condition progresses. This may make it difficult to lift things or perform other activities that require arm strength.
  5. Sleep problems: Frozen shoulder can cause pain that interferes with sleep. If you have this condition, you may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

Swimming may be a good exercise option if you're dealing with any of these symptoms. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

Why Does Frozen Shoulder Occur?

There are a few reasons why frozen shoulder may occur. Here are 5 possible explanations:

  • Poor posture. This is often the case with desk jobs requiring you to be in one position for long periods. Poor posture can lead to the muscles and connective tissues around the shoulder becoming tight and restricted.
  • A shoulder injury, whether it's a dislocation, rotator cuff tear, or fracture, can cause a frozen shoulder.
  • Frozen shoulder is a common complication after surgery, particularly on the shoulder or arm.
  • The risk of frozen shoulder increases as we age. This may be due to the natural deterioration of the connective tissues as we age.
  • Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid disease, and Parkinson's disease, can increase the risk of frozen shoulder.

Why Is Swimming Effective to Prevent Frozen Shoulders?

When treating frozen shoulder, there are many different options available. One option that is often overlooked is swimming. Well, here are five reasons why swimming can be an effective form of treatment for frozen shoulder:

1. Swimming Is a Low-Impact Activity

This is important because when dealing with a frozen shoulder, you want to avoid any activities that could potentially aggravate the condition. Swimming is an excellent option because it is low-impact and gentle on the joints.

2. Swimming Can Help to Improve Range of Motion

One of the main goals of treatment for frozen shoulder is to improve range of motion. And swimming is a great way to do that. The repetitive movements of the arms and legs can help to stretch out the muscles and joints, making it easier to move the shoulder.

3. Swimming Can Help to Improve Circulation

Another treatment for frozen shoulder is improving circulation. And again, swimming can help. The repetitive motions of the arms and legs help move the blood around, improving circulation in the shoulder area.

4. Swimming Can Help to Reduce pain

The pain associated with a frozen shoulder can be debilitating. But swimming can help to reduce pain. The warm water can help relax the muscles, and the low-impact activity can help avoid aggravating the condition.

5. Swimming Is a Great Way to Get Some Exercise

Finally, it's important to remember that frozen shoulder is a condition that can take months to resolve. And during that time, it's important to stay active. Swimming is a great way to exercise and keep your body moving.

So, swimming may be the perfect option if you're looking for a low-impact, effective way to treat your frozen shoulder.

5 Side Effects of Swimming for Frozen Shoulder

Swimming is often recommended as an exercise for people with frozen shoulders. However, people should be aware of a few risks associated with swimming before getting started.

  • The first risk is that the cold water can aggravate the symptoms of frozen shoulder. Swimming in cold water can worsen your shoulder if you already have pain and stiffness. It's important to ensure the water you're swimming in is not too cold before you start.
  • Another risk is that swimming can put additional strain on the shoulder. If you have a lot of pain and stiffness in your shoulder, swimming may not be the best form of exercise for you. It's important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard.
  • A third risk is that swimming can cause more inflammation in the shoulder. This is because the movement of the arms in swimming can irritate the already inflamed tissues in the shoulder. If you are already experiencing a lot of inflammation, swimming may not be the best form of exercise for you.
  • A fourth risk is that swimming can make the frozen shoulder worse. This is because the repetitive motion of the arms in swimming can make the shoulder even more stiff and painful.
  • The fifth and final risk is that swimming can delay the healing process. If you have a frozen shoulder, it's essential to rest the shoulder as much as possible to allow it to heal. Swimming can delay the healing process by keeping the shoulder active and inflamed.

Overall, swimming is an excellent form of exercise for many people. However, people should be aware of a few risks associated with swimming before getting started. 

If you have a frozen shoulder, it's important to be careful with your body and don't push your body so hard that your body can't afford it. Swimming can be an excellent exercise for many people, but it's not for everyone.  


While swimming can be an excellent exercise for those with frozen shoulders, it will not help thaw the shoulder in and of itself. 

Instead, it relies on the muscles around the shoulder joint to do the work, which can give added strength to overworked muscles and provide a good cardio workout overall. 

Give it a try if you need some joint assistance, but don't expect to reach your goals quickly or easily.