Massage therapy and the treatment of Frozen Shoulder in San Diego

Is it really Frozen Shoulder / Adhesive Capsulitis?

Many people in San Diego are needlessly suffering from frozen shoulder, if you’ve already seen your doctor chances are they told you you’re suffering from Adhesive Capsulitis, the medical term for frozen shoulder. What this likely means to you is that you can’t lift your arm because your shoulder joint is stuck to tightly to itself. Most likely you have been experiencing pain with either a particular shoulder motion or pain with most shoulder movements for atleast a few months.

What does Frozen Shoulder / Adhesive capsulitis feel like?

Frozen shoulder will feel different depending on which of the three stages of adhesive capsulitis you’re currently in and may be worse at night disrupting sleep. The three stages of frozen shoulder are:

Painful stage: Any movement of your shoulder is causing you pain and your range of motion is beginning to become limited.
Frozen Stage: Your shoulder is noticeably stiffer and your range of motion is limited. (You’re having trouble putting your shirt on or reaching up to grab things.)
Thawing Stage: Your shoulders range of motion is beginning to increase and pain if present should be minimal. (There may be areas you avoid due to sharp pain or pinching sensations.)

Why do we get Frozen Shoulder?

Basic reasons:
Injury induced frozen shoulder
There are many ways to sustain a shoulder injury and it seems sensible to avoid all movements that cause us pain, however, allowing pain to persist or using a decreased range of motion (limiting how you move your arm) trying to avoid feeling the pain is the most common path to frozen shoulder. This is not suggesting that you actively seek out the painful movements as that may cause an increase
2 Repetitive motion induced frozen shoulder
Being injured is one way to start down the path of adhesive capsulitis but it is not the only one. Simple, repetitive, daily, overuse or misuse of the shoulder can also lead to frozen shoulder. The simplest way to understand this is use it or lose it, if you’re not using your shoulders full range of motion on a daily basis your body has no reason to maintain a full healthy range of motion.

Technical reasons:

hypertonicity of the joint capsule (excessive tightness)
decreased shoulder flexibility
decreased glenohumeral bursae fluid
inflammation in the joint capsule
inflammation in the structures crossing the shoulder joint
(biceps, pecs, lats, serratus, infraspinatus, supraspinatus)

How does massage help Frozen Shoulder?

The primary role of massage in preventing frozen shoulder or helping rehabilitation once frozen shoulder has occurred is to promote full pain free motion in the shoulder, by removing restrictions and helping to re-balance the muscle tone of the shoulder girdle. By releasing the chronically tight patterns that your muscles and fascia have developed massage can help speed the recovery from frozen shoulder and greatly increase your range of motion while you heal!