Massage Therapy – An Effective Solution To Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is a condition that causes the shoulder region to become severely limited in range of motion, thus the term “frozen” . Of course it’s not frozen and the correct terminology would be called adhesive capsulitis. The adhesions form on the joint in the shoulder, which causes pain and limited motion.

This is a very complex condition that one or two treatments of massage, chiropractic or even physical therapy isn’t going to resolve.

Is massage therapy effective with a frozen shoulder?
There are a lot of factors that determine the success of using massage as a treatment approach to frozen shoulder. The outcome relies on a practitioner that can properly assess and evaluate. With a proper assessment an experienced massage therapist that is trained in orthopedic massage, it can  be successfully treated.

This means that you are most likely not going to get the desired results from a general Swedish style relaxation massage.

Assessment and evaluation
A thorough physical examination and client history is taken. A detailed history is critical to establish patterns that would indicate primary or even secondary capsulitis. Many different passive and active tests will be performed to assess ROM limits. These tests will hone in on the exact areas that need to be treated to get the desired results.

Types of Massage Treatments

Most methods of treatment focus on a conservative approach to increase ROM in the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint.

Massage techniques utilized, include the basics such as effleurage and cross fiber type strokes to encourage relaxation of all the muscles surrounding the joint. The muscles become fibrous and get short because of the limited motion in the shoulder. Myofascial trigger points and active stretching of the tissues becomes even more effective.

This becomes the challenge to restore proper ROM by breaking up adhesions, lengthening muscles and fascia to restore health and functionality to the area. Because most frozen shoulder challenges are founded in dysfunctional unhealthy soft tissue, the proper approach and techniques will make a big difference in making changes and allowing a full recovery.

It’s not just about the massage
With any type of treatment, the client needs to be responsible for their own recovery. That’s why a home stretching and strengthening program should be created and implemented to make sure that everything is being done to make a full recovery with proper range of motion without any pain.

As mentioned previously, this is going to take some consistent effort and time with treatment to get the results that you want. Many people’s recoveries from a frozen shoulder is really limited by their own compliance to the treatment plan.

If you are experiencing frozen shoulder, get the help you need with massage therapy. Let us help you get back to where you want to be by being active with normal motion once again. Give us a call an set up an appointment so we can help you.