Frozen Shoulder Physical Therapy in Washington, D.C.

PT Services for Shoulder Dislocation

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What is a frozen shoulder?


Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is a painful condition of the shoulder that limits movement. Frozen shoulder is often caused by an inflammation of the capsule or other tissues surrounding the shoulder joint that limit movement due to pain and over time can cause adhesions or scarring limiting movement even further.

Frozen Shoulder

What are the common symptoms of a frozen shoulder?


Pain and limitations in movement are the most common symptoms associated with frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulder can occur very slowly and then worsen. If you are experiencing any pain or limitations in movement in your shoulder, contact Release Physical Therapy to schedule an evaluation today.

How does someone end up with a frozen shoulder?


Unfortunately, the cause of frozen shoulder is unknown. Some believe it is due to a lack of movement, which leads to adhesions/scarring in the capsule, but ultimately the cause is unclear.

Frozen Shoulder FAQs


If you are willing to wait 1-3 years, frozen shoulder may go away in some individuals on it’s own. But, if you want to speed up your recovery process and improve your shoulder mobility, contact a physical therapist at Release Physical Therapy today and they can guide you on the rights and wrongs to do to progress your mobility, reduce your pain, and improve your function rather than waiting a couple of years to get back to what you love to do.

Anytime pain is experienced in the musculoskeletal system, a physical therapist should be the first step to improving your symptoms. Your Release Physical Therapist can do a thorough evaluation and help you better understand what may have been contributing factors to your frozen shoulder. Additionally, they can provide you with postural tips, shoulder stretches and strengthening exercises, and lifestyle changes that will improve your overall comfort.

Scheduling an appointment with your Release Physical Therapist should be your first step. Although there are some generic stretches or strengthening tips you can find online for a frozen shoulder, your expert physical therapist at Release Physical Therapy can give you tips on stretches and exercises that you can do that are individualized to your pain and your goals. Additionally, your home exercise program should change throughout the course of your treatment, initially focusing on pain reduction and improving mobility and later focusing on maintaining range of motion and improving strength and stability.

Yes, massage can help with pain relief for the frozen shoulder, but be cautious that you aren’t causing more inflammation or pain during or after your massage. If you have any questions about massage for the frozen shoulder, contact Release Physical Therapy today and we can help you answer these questions.

The shoulder is vital to everyday life. If you are experiencing any pain or limitation in shoulder movement, the shoulder is keeping you awake, you cannot work or be active the way you want to be, now is when you need physical therapy. Contact Release Physical Therapy today to get started with the rehabilitation of your shoulder so you can get back to your healthy lifestyle.

Usually, movement is medicine and exercise is the best way to treat a frozen shoulder. Although exercise is usually the answer, a frozen shoulder can be highly irritable and inflamed and sometimes rest can also be the answer. If you are experiencing shoulder pain, before you make a decision on what is best for you on your own, it is advised to reach out to Release Physical Therapy today to schedule an evaluation and chat with your therapist about which is better for you. Your therapist can also help guide you on when is appropriate to change from rest to exercise, and when to progress your exercises as your stages of frozen shoulder change.

Everyone is different on their journey when experiencing frozen shoulder. Some people will see quick results, and some people take much longer. Your physical therapist will help answer questions on how frequently you should attend physical therapy and how long you can expect to see results. They can help you develop a plan of care that is individualized to you and includes manual therapy techniques, dry needling, shockwave therapy, laser therapy, and therapeutic cupping, as well as exercises that you can do in the clinic and at home to better your outcomes.

About Release Physical Therapy


Release Physical Therapy is an award-winning physical therapy clinic, offering the best-in-class physical therapy to the Washington, D.C. area and surrounding communities. We offer flexible appointment times at two convenient locations in our Downtown and West End offices. Don’t wait to feel your best – schedule an appointment online or call our office at (202) 974-6621.

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Release Physical Therapy Washington DC

Our Approach


At Release Physical Therapy, we use evidence-based therapies to target the root cause of a condition, not just the symptoms. We offer a full range of treatments, including manual modalities, technology-assisted therapies, and both traditional and non-traditional techniques. We work one-on-one with our patients to develop an individualized treatment plan that meets their unique needs, conditions, wellness goals and fitness levels. Common conditions we treat include:

  • Achilles tendonitis
  • AC joint injury
  • ankle sprains
  • ankle fracture
  • ACL injuries
  • arthritis
  • back injury
  • back pain
  • bursitis
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • cervical radiculopathy
  • cervical strains
  • chronic pelvic pain
  • CL inuries
  • compartment syndrome
  • degenerative joint disease
  • herniated disk
  • de Quervain tenosynovitis
  • fibromyalgia
  • frozen shoulder
  • golfer’s elbow
  • headaches / migrains
  • hip replacements
  • ITB syndrome
  • impingement syndrome
  • knee replacement
  • neck pain
  • nerve entrapment
  • osteoporosis
  • osteoarthritis
  • overuse injuries
  • knee cap pain syndrome
  • knee tendinitis
  • plantar fasciitis
  • rotator cuff tear
  • runner's knee
  • scoliosis
  • sciatica
  • shoulder tendinitis
  • spinal stenosis
  • spondylolisthesis
  • shin splints
  • tennis elbow
  • thoracic outlet syndrome
  • TMJ dysfunction
  • wrist fracture
  • and several others...

What Patients Are Saying


Physical therapy is about results. Too often, patients discontinue therapy because of a bad experience. At Release Physical Therapy, we are committed to providing the highest quality care through patient education, on-going clinician training, and personalized approach to treatment. We believe that everyone should live pain-free and healthy. But don’t take it from us, read what our patients have to say about their experience with Release Physical Therapy.

Our Physical Therapists


Release Physical Therapy staffs the top physical therapists in Washington, DC. Our experienced and highly trained physical therapists specialize in treating the outpatient orthopedic population, including sports therapy, chronic pain management, orthopedic/spinal therapy, pre/post-surgical therapy, as well as wellness and prevention. Our PTs utilize a wide range of therapies and technologies to deliver a personalized care plan. All of our physical therapists are accepting new patients.

Dr. Cari Simon PT, DPT, CMTPT, ART

Owner & Physical Therapist, Release Physical Therapy Washington, D.C.

Dr. Cari Simon received her Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Hartford. A former All-New England and All-State soccer player, she was part of the U.S. Women’s Soccer National Team pool, but ultimately decided to redirect her career in pursuit of her true passion: care. She is now one of the top physical therapists in Washington, DC. As one of the most highly regarded physical therapists in Washington, DC, Dr. Cari Simon’s treatment approach combines manual mobilization and manipulation techniques with individualized therapeutic exercise. She is a full body Active Release Technique (ART) provider. Additionally, Dr. Simon utilizes McConnell, athletic, and Kinesio Taping methods, as well as Trigger Point Dry Needle Therapy. When she is not helping her patients meet their physical goals, Dr. Simon enjoys networking with other physical therapists in Washington, DC, outdoor activities and spending time with her family.

Ethan Gramstad PT, DPT, CMTPT

Physical Therapist, Release Physical Therapy Washington, D.C.

Dr. Ethan Gramstad is the newest addition to the staff at Release Physical Therapy. A native of Virginia, he has recently relocated to Washington, DC following the last two years of practicing PT in Denver, Colorado. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia where he was a member of the UVA Men’s Rowing team for three years. It was that experience that ignited his interest in the science of exercise, as well as physiology and anatomy. He went on to obtain his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Old Dominion University from Norfolk, Virginia in 2017.

Dr. Gramstad uses manual therapy and mobilization techniques to obtain optimal patient outcomes and places a high priority on establishing a strong patient-therapist relationship. He focuses on assisting his patients in meeting their physical goals and finds satisfaction in the application of individualized exercise programs, as well as dry needling to achieve success. He has previous experience in providing pre and post-operative therapy protocols and treating the outpatient orthopedic population. Besides his rowing days, Dr. Gramstad has personally participated in endurance sports; running Cross Country and multiple marathons and continues to maintain a devotion to a rigorous gym regimen.

Dr. Stephanie Lam PT, DPT, CMTPT

Physical Therapist, Release Physical Therapy Washington, D.C.

Dr. Stephanie Lam received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the School of Health Technology and Management at Stony Brook University, after attaining dual degrees in Biology and Psychology from the University of Virginia. She is highly experienced in several fields of adult orthopedics, including post-surgical recovery, acute sports injury rehabilitation, athletic performance improvement, and chronic pain management. She also has a passion for pediatrics and has treated kids of all ages for congenital and developmental issues.

Dr. Lam uses her patient’s individual goals to guide treatment, addressing her patient’s symptomatic impairments while considering their day-to-day ability to function and perform athletic and recreational activities. Dr. Lam incorporates manual therapy throughout her treatments, specializing in extensive deep soft tissue manipulation and mobilizations of the spine and peripheral joints, as well as dry needling.

Deborah Ajala PT, DPT, COMT, CMTPT

Physical Therapist, Release Physical Therapy Washington, D.C.

Dr. Deborah Ajala is an astute physical therapist who takes her time to get to know her patients in order to provide the best possible care. Dr. Ajala’s lifelong passion for caregiving led her to a career in physical therapy. She received a Bachelors degree in Health Sciences with a minor in Exercise Science and Wellness Management from the University of Sciences in Philadelphia, where she obtained a Doctorate in Physical Therapy thereafter. Dr. Ajala holds certifications in Orthopedic Manual Therapy (COMT) and Trigger Point Dry Needling (CMTPT). Her goal with each patient is to optimize their return to function.

Dr. Ajala previously worked at an Outpatient Physical Therapy Clinic in Maryland as a staff clinician. There, she served a diverse patient population treating a wide range of orthopedic conditions including sports medicine, pre/post operative rehabilitation, overuse injuries and several others.

In her free time, Dr. Ajala enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and sports. She also enjoys exploring new DC neighborhoods and is a restaurant enthusiast.

Mia Smyser PT, DPT, COMT, CIDN

Physical Therapist, Pelvic Floor Therapist, Release Physical Therapy Tysons and Washington, D.C.

Dr. Mia Smyser is a native of the DMV. She received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Miami, after receiving her Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science from the University of South Carolina. She thinks movement is of foundational importance and is dedicated to improving people’s mobility and function and helping them achieve their optimal physical well-being.

She is passionate about continuing to learn and grow in the profession. She is a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT), certified in Integrative Dry Needling and is continuing her coursework with Herman & Wallace as a pelvic health therapist.

Dr. Smyser previously worked at outpatient physical therapy clinics in Washington, DC and Falls Church, VA, treating a wide variety of conditions including sports medicine, pelvic health, pre/post-operative rehabilitation, and pediatrics, among others.

In her free time, she prioritizes spending time with her husband, son & dog; playing soccer and running; coaching HIIT and checking out new restaurants.

Release Physical Therapy Treatments


Our experienced physical therapists have advanced training in outpatient orthopedic physical therapy. Our physical therapy services include sports therapy, injury rehabilitation, pre-surgical therapy, post-surgical therapy, chronic pain management, as well as wellness and prevention. Specialized treatments at Release Physical Therapy include:

Shockwave Therapy

A non-invasive medical treatment that utilizes acoustic waves to treat various musculoskeletal conditions and promote healing.

shockwave therapy washington dc

K-Laser Therapy

The use of specific wavelengths of light to improve healing time, pain reduction, increase circulation and decrease swelling.

Dry Needling Washington DC

Needle treatment that decreases pain, increases range of motion and improves strength by inactivating myofascial trigger points.

Dry needling Washington DC

Active Release Technique in Washington, D.C.

Massage and movement-based technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.

Physical Therapy

Therapeutic Medical Massage

Reduces muscular pain and inflammation, relaxes overused muscles, improves posture and movement awareness, and enhances performance.

Clinical Massage

BFR Training Washington DC

Rehabilitation therapy and performance training technique using a personalized tourniquet system to reduce atrophy and increase strength.

Physical Therapy Washington DC

Kineseo® Taping Method

Reduces muscular pain and inflammation, relaxes overused muscles, improves posture and movement awareness, and enhances performance.

Running Assessment Washington DC

Individualized analysis designed to identify strength, gait, and alignment imbalances to prevent injury and improve your current training program.

Running Assessment Washington DC

Functional Training

Exercise regimens that integrate multiple muscle groups, joints and the brain to assist in everyday movement, physical activities and athletics.

Physical Therapy Bathesda MD

Graston Technique

Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization used to address soft tissue lesions and fascial restrictions resulting in improved patient outcomes.

Release Physical Therapy Services


At Release Physical Therapy, we treat you with our hands, not just machines. We offer a full range of manual therapies, as well as both traditional and non-traditional techniques for the best in comprehensive care. We work one-on-one with our patients to develop an individualized treatment plan that meets their unique needs, conditions, wellness goals and fitness levels.

Physical Therapy Treatment for Pelvic Floor Issues

At Release Physical Therapy, our experienced therapists conduct a thorough assessment to identify the underlying causes of your pelvic floor issues and create a personalized treatment plan to promote healing and alleviate the problems you’re experiencing.


Physical Therapy Treatment for Upper Back/Shoulder Pain

At Release Physical Therapy, our experienced therapists perform comprehensive assessments to see how they can help with your upper back pain. We then design individualized treatment plans aimed at promoting healing and relieving your specific issues.


Physical Therapy Treatment for Lower Back Pain

At Release Physical Therapy, our seasoned therapists perform comprehensive assessments to pinpoint the root causes of your lower back pain problems. We then design individualized treatment plans aimed at promoting healing and relieving your specific issues.


Physical Therapy Treatment for Knee Pain

At Release Physical Therapy, our seasoned therapists perform comprehensive assessments to pinpoint the root causes of your knee pain problems. We then design individualized treatment plans aimed at promoting healing and relieving your specific issues.


Physical Therapy Treatment for Ankle Pain

At Release Physical Therapy, our experienced therapists conduct thorough assessments to identify the underlying causes of your ankle discomfort. From there, we craft personalized treatment strategies tailored to foster healing and alleviate your unique concerns.

Physical Therapy Treatment for Tennis Elbow Pain

At Release Physical Therapy, our seasoned therapists perform comprehensive assessments to pinpoint the root causes of your tennis elbow pain problems. We then design individualized treatment plans aimed at promoting healing and relieving your specific issues.


Physical Therapy Treatment for Arthritis

At Release Physical Therapy, our expert therapists conduct thorough assessments to gain insight into your arthritis symptoms. With this understanding, we craft personalized treatment strategies aimed at promoting healing and addressing your unique requirements.

Release Physical Therapy Locations

Visit Release Physical Therapy at our flagship office in DC's West End, or our Downtown DC office located within Thesis Personal Training.

West End Location

2134 L St NW, Washington, DC 20037
DIRECTIONS

Hours
Mon – Thurs: 6:00am – 8:00pm
Fri: 6:00am – 5:00pm
Sat – Sun: Closed

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Downtown Location

*Located within Thesis Personal Training
1401 New York Ave NW, #100, Washington, DC 20005
DIRECTIONS

Hours
Mon & Wed: 7:00am – 4:00pm
All Other Days: Closed

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Now Accepting New Patients

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Whether you’re an athlete that plays hard on the field, or a weekend warrior that plays hard in life, committing to a physical therapy program can help to keep you moving forward.
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