MB Massage Therapy

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SHOULDER PAIN AND FROZEN SHOULDER

Shoulder pain or a frozen shoulder can be a very uncomfortable issue that can interfere with your sleep and daily activities. It can start as a simple shoulder or rotator cuff ache and transform into constant and acute pain. 

 

 Often, we find that the problem is progressing in a few phases:  

 – light to a dull ache in the beginning

– acute pain, limited movement, big discomfort when trying to use the arm

– decrease in sensitivity, still reduced range of movement

– partial to full recovery.

Frozen shoulders generally affect people between the age of 40 and 60. It can occur to anyone regardless of gender, but typically, women are more prone to having this pain than men. If you can diagnose it in time, there is a treatment for you, but leniency may result in loss of motion and chronic pain. If the medicines don’t work, the next option is to go for a deep tissue massage. 

Entire research proves that massage and Cupping can bring benefits without any side effects. So let us dive deeply into the details and learn more about it.

What is a frozen shoulder?

It is most commonly known as adhesive capsulitis. It is a severe condition where your shoulder and hand movement becomes limited. It happens due to severe pain and stiffness. This inflammation surrounds the tissues and the joints and can also lead to scarring.

This condition can get worse with time, and the Shoulder pain will become a Frozen shoulder 

 if you do not seek any medical advice or opt for massage therapy.



Anatomy of a frozen shoulder:

Your shoulder comprises three bones, the humerus, scapula, and collarbone. The humerus, the upper arm bone, fits into the shoulder blade socket. The string connective tissues surround this joint to protect it from wear and tear. Moreover, the synovial fluids help lubricate the whole joint for smooth movement.

In the frozen shoulder, the capsules thicken, becoming tight and stiff. Common adhesions also form along with loss of synovial fluid, leaving the joint in pain.

It starts with freezing which is the typical pain. Then it moves towards the frozen stage where stiffness remains. Then lastly, thawing begins when the pain lessens. Then the tissues and capsules return to their average size, and stiffness disappears.

 

Causes of a frozen shoulder:

First, remember that this medical condition is all about connective tissues around bones and joints. It happens when the tendons get inflamed, and the capsules thicken and restrict movement. Hence, there are no definite causes of this condition, but some common problems diagnosed are as follows.

1.  Age and gender:

People aged 40 and above are more likely to fall for this condition, especially women. It happens because the bones get weaker with time. Furthermore, the loss of calcium and proteins in bones and ligaments is a worthy cause of shoulder pain. 

There is no precise clinical diagnosis, so always take care of your diet.

2. Cuff injury:

The rotator cuffs are muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. They keep the head of the upper bone attached to the shoulder’s shallow socket. 

Rotator cuff injuries are common for those who do heavy lifting work, such as carpenters. Moreover, it can also happen if you play too many sports. Here Sports massage will make healing faster.

3. Stroke:

Stroke is another reason you get a Frozen shoulder after the treatment. Generally, a stroke weakens the muscles in your arms and shoulders, so ligaments become prone to injuries. Since the muscles become weaker, a Deep tissue massage will strengthen them in the long run. 

4. Diabetes:

People who have diabetes can develop shoulder pain more because the sugar levels can spike at any time. The spikes affect collagen as it maintains sugar levels, damaging connective tissues.

5. Thyroid:

The thyroid is another condition where you can have this condition. The research shows that all types of thyroids will produce more than three times as many frozen shoulders. 

6. Parkinsons:

A shoulder disorder is the first sign of Parkinson’s disease. It can cause long-term pain and physical disability. So it is better to check on minor aches before it’s too late. 

7. Sports:

Shoulder pain is quite joint among people who play sports. Various sports can result in injury, among which injuries to the shoulder are relatively higher. You can observe many players going for Sports massage sessions after the game.

Diagnosis and treatment:

Generally, shoulder pain tends to go away on his own and it might take up to a year. But if the condition persists, then you have to seek assistance. The focus is to cure the main pain points and restore motion in the shoulder area. 

Now the first option is to consult a doctor for nonsurgical treatment. The doctor will give steroids and other medicines that can control inflammation. If you are not a massive fan of this, then go for a second opinion.

Self-help and massage for frozen shoulder syndrome:

Many trigger points can limit the motion of the shoulder. To regain mobility, you must go through a series of massages under the guidance of a professional. 

  • The underarm foam roller massage:

First, place a roller under your underarms. Then stick your arm out and roll back and forth over the foam roller. Continue this exercise for more than 1 minute.

  • Shoulder massage with a foam roller:

Place the roller under the pain point of the shoulder. Stick your hand out and roll back and forth. Continue this for 2 minutes or more. 

  • Use an electronic massager:

If going to a doctor is not on your priority list, buy an electronic massager. It will help relieve tension and tender areas. When using a massager avoid any direct contact with the bone and the capsule as percussions can be strong so they can create some damage.

  • Deep tissue massage:

First of all, start with a warm-up massage. Place your knuckles behind the neck and toward the spinal cord to activate the muscles. Then look for the tender points on the back of the scapula below the spine. Knead gently over this area, especially on the tender points. 

Then work towards the armpit. If the tension is high, place the hand on the back and work on the scapula in a C shape. do not forget to rotate the shoulder inwards and outwards position alongside the massage. It will enhance mobilization.

Sports massage:

Sports massage is not just for athletes and sportspeople. This type of massage can help anyone in pain. It is a collection of massages that aids in recovering from injuries and treatment of pathology. 

Each case is individual, but from our experience in treating frozen shoulders we can describe general few stages of the treatment:

– Through palpation and testing we will identify the possible area of compensation. Usually, the whole shoulder area will feel tender, stiff, and painful.

– With each session painful area will decrease, quality of sleep and range of movement will improve.

– After 5 to 6 sessions, we will do some cupping which usually can either totally improve the pain and range of movement or at least can leave you with some restriction in the movement.

Sometimes our clients needed to go under the key-hall surgery either to shave some of the cartilage or reconstruct some of the tendon tears. Still, the sessions they had improved their quality of life and have helped them swift recovery. 

Benefits of massage:

Many studies and research have revealed that performing massage as a therapy for shoulder pain has impressive benefits. It can relieve tensions and tightness also it can restore mobility and improves blood flow to reduce inflammation.

Furthermore, it will help you have flexible arms and better muscle fibers for a healthier body.

Cupping:

Cupping therapy is an ancient form of medicinal practice still used as it is highly effective in giving results for frozen shoulders. The cups can be made of glass, silicone, bamboo, or earthenware for effective treatment.

We use Cupping in massage as well. After the massage, we can use almost four to five cups to grip and relieve the tension. Cupping helps in decompressing and mobilizing the adhesions. Also, increasing the blood flow in the area can speed up healing.

Key takeaways:

Finding a cure is necessary if you have a frozen shoulder that interrupts your day-to-day activities. Talk to a therapist, and soon, you will be off on your road to recovery.

Remember, the cupping technique will also reveal better results if done appropriately. Deep tissue massage is quite popular among people at a certain age; hence, waiting for an injury or for symptoms to show is unnecessary.

You can do stretches and massages as you do other exercises; this way, you may prevent having a frozen shoulder.

Prevention is better than cure, so choose the right therapy to avoid future complications.