Frozen shoulder is the common name for adhesive capsulitis. People who suffer from frozen shoulder will typically experience it only on one side at a time. The prominent symptoms of the condition are stiffness, pain with movement, and significantly decreased range of motion.
My client, Susan (not her real name), came to me with bilateral frozen shoulder. This means that unlike most people, she was experiencing the condition in both shoulders. She had been dealing with frozen shoulder on her right side for quite some time, and she decided to pursue massage therapy as a new course of treatment when symptoms began on her left side as well.
Review History of Pain and Previous Treatments
Susan is a 49-year-old office professional who sits at a desk and computer most of the day. Due to the nature of her work, she sits for long periods of time in a single body position. Over time, she developed stiffness in her right shoulder and arthritis in her right hip.
Susan received chiropractic care and massage therapy in the past for the pain and symptoms on her right side. She experienced relief with treatment, and she also enjoyed the relaxation benefits. She had not seen her previous providers for some time when she developed new symptoms in her left shoulder.
At our first session, we reviewed her history with other treatments and her current symptoms. Her goals for our work together were to reduce pain in both shoulders, ease the stiffness, and improve her range of motion. I recommended Myofascial Release as the modality best suited for her goals, along with gentle stretching and compression. We agreed that every other week sessions would produce continuous improvement.
Gentle Technique Produces Powerful Results
Susan expressed surprise at the noticeable results despite the gentleness of the Myofascial Release technique. She mentioned that, “It feels like such subtle work, but my shoulders feel really good.”
In her previous treatments with a chiropractor and massage therapist, the relief was limited, and range of motion was not restored. With our course of treatment, Susan feels like her shoulders are loose and easier to move.
The modality of Susan’s treatment includes myofascial release, stretching, and compression techniques. All of these therapeutic approaches are extremely gentle. Fascia is the tissue under the skin that connects muscles to joints and bones. Fluid around this tissue is what helps the body to move easily. Trauma, injury, and inflammation can cause this fluid to harden, which causes stiffness in the muscles and tissue.
Myofascial Release is a technique that works to release this fluid so that the fascia can get back to work. With gentle touch on the restricted tissue, in this case throughout the shoulder and upper back muscles, the fascia is restored to normal function. The result is less stiffness, reduced pain, and increased range of motion. Additional techniques during the session, such as stretching and compression bodywork, promote additional healing in the muscles for enhanced results.
Compounding Benefits of Increased Movement
The benefits of massage promote additional self-managed healing. With the relief and better range of motion in her shoulders, Susan enjoys moving more. This has made it easier for her to perform stretches on her own throughout the day. She is experiencing a variety of benefits from her own commitment to more movement and regular massage work. This leads to less stress, better sleep, and better relaxation.
If you feel like you simply have to live with pain because nothing you’ve tried so far has worked, please contact me. If you continue to leave that pain unaddressed, the things you do to compensate for it will lead to new injuries. Susan ended up with pain in both shoulders because she thought she had to live with the pain in one. In the end, she just needed a different approach, and she got relief in both shoulders.
My goal is for your body to heal itself using the appropriate technique for the issue. Whether that is Myofascial Release, or one of the other modalities I practice, we will find the right solution to reduce your pain and improve your life. Ross Therapeutic Massage is located in Telford and is easy to reach from Souderton, Harleysville, Quakertown, Perkasie, Sellersville, Green Lane, and more.