Shoulder Pain: How a Massage Can Help

a shirtless blonde man with his back being massaged

So, your shoulder’s hurting? It might be the first unexpected twinge, a reoccurring ache that likes to rear up after certain activities, or something more severe, but shoulder pain is an incredibly common and varied dysfunction that affects anywhere from 6.7-66.7% of the general population over their lifetime.1

Shoulder pain not only effects an individual’s range of motion and the ability to do tasks, but can influence mood, energy levels, and ultimately quality of life.

Comprised of the Pectorals, Deltoid, Trapezius, side of the neck, and the infamous Rotator Cuff (a grouping of four muscles, which attach the scapula to the humerus and provide stability for the Glenohumeral aka “Shoulder Joint.”)2 the shoulder is a complex structure of muscle, connective tissue, and bony structures that is designed for optimal mobility.

In anatomical terms, mobility often comes at the expense of stability, and the shoulder is no exception. Because this region of the body is built for mobility (eg. I can swing my arms 360 degrees) versus stabilization (ex. The joint where the sacrum inserts into the pelvic bone), repetitive stress injuries, postural deviation, Arthritis, Tendonitis, tears, etc. all too often leave individuals in pain and unable to function freely.

Further, Adhesive Capsulitis, or as it’s commonly known “Frozen Shoulder,” affects roughly 2% of the population and the condition can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to return to normal. Frozen shoulder is characterized by pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint, which often leads to immobility of the joint itself as the ligaments and muscle structures tighten and “lock down” the structure. Progressing through three stages, “Freezing,” “Frozen,” and “Thawing,” the body uses the “frozen” stage to keep the shoulder stable while it heals whatever injury/condition initially caused complications.3

Thankfully, bodywork practitioners such our team at AMF, who are versed in anatomy, kinesiology, as well as the particulars of shoulder/rotator cuff dysfunctions are well equipped to support the healing and aftercare during recovery from shoulder pain. After taking an assessment of your daily activities, posture, etc. we can partner with our clients, and their team of healthcare providers, to create a personalized wellness plan.

1 Luime JJ, Koes BW, Hendriksen IJ, et al. : Prevalence and incidence of shoulder pain in the general  population; a systematic review. Scand J Rheumatol, 2004, 33: 73–81.

2(2018) Shoulder and Arm. 27 January 2018.

3 Windmer, Benjamin MD. (2011) Frozen Shoulder.–conditions/frozen-shoulder. 27 January 2018.