Balanced Rock Bodyworks

Using Massage Therapy to Help with Shoulder Pain

loon mountain shoulder massageShoulders are so very useful. They help us lift, throw, push, hug, paint, catch, and a multitude of other things. When they are injured, they can cause us an incredible amount of pain, discomfort, and loss of range of motion. Shoulder pain is so common for some folks that it seems like a necessary part of life.

Common shoulder injuries

Shoulder injuries occur most frequently during sports activities, work-related movements, falls, or home improvement projects. Sudden injuries to the shoulder include:

  • A fall where the shoulder is jammed
  • A direct hit to the shoulder done either deliberately or accidentally
  • An unusual twist or bending that puts the shoulder in an awkward position.

Symptoms vary with the type of injury, but may include:

  • Pain localized in the shoulder area or pain that radiates down the arm
  • Swelling
  • Numbness in the shoulder area or all the way down the arm
  • Tingling in the shoulder are or extending down to the fingers
  • Weakness with or without the ability to grip things
  • Range of motion issues
  • Excessive warmth in the shoulder area.

The pain from a shoulder injury can come on suddenly and be quite severe, and swelling and bruising may follow quickly.

Shoulder injuries that massage therapy can aid

Attached under the scapula in between the ribs and the shoulder blade is the subscapularis muscle. It operates with a tendon that goes through the body, attaching both in the front and the back. This is the muscle that helps you perform the majority of the activities in which the shoulder is involved. It is the strongest of the four muscles of the rotator cuff, and its tendon is often injure.

When there is an injury to the subscapularis tendon, usually there are strains and tear to it fibers at the point where the tendon attaches to the bone. Interestingly enough, these strains and tears can occur as a result of the muscle not being warmed up before strenuous activity is attempted as well as from falls and other forms of injury.

Lifting something heavy, turning in your car seat to lift something from the back seat, or even using your arm to throw something with all your might can cause this type of injury.

Ways massage therapy can help with shoulder injuries

Massage therapy can even help a shoulder injury after surgery has been performed on the shoulder. Massage therapy can be a great complement to physical therapy after shoulder surgery.

With an injury that does not require surgery, massage therapy can:

  • Use trigger point therapy to decrease the pain in your shoulder
  • Loosen shortened muscles to increase your range of motion
  • Engage in stretching exercises to stretch the joint, which increase range of motion
  • Break up crystals that have formed in the painful area from waste products not appropriately offloaded by the body
  • Break up scar tissue so it can be reabsorbed into the body
  • Relax tense muscles around the injured area to lessen pain.

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