Shoulder pain

Remedial massage for shoulder pain

Does your shoulder hurt when you lift your arm to the side or reach up to grab something above and in front of you?   

You could be suffering from frozen shoulder.  A common complaint I come across.  Those I see with this condition usually inform me they have carried out repetitive overhead movements over time such as swimming, bowing (as in cricket or baseball), painting, or those with poor posture i.e rounded shoulders and kyphotic upper backs.      


Frozen shoulder is commonly referred to as adhesive capsulitis in medical speak.  Adhesive refer to fibrotic adhesions and the “itis” in capsulitis indicates inflammation around the joint capsule.  Inflammation is an immune response to many conditions.  It is the body’s way of fighting pathogens and/or repairing sites of injury.  The substance is a viscous or gluey substance which can also cause congestions in an area to isolate it until an appropriate way of dealing with the situation is found, not too dissimilar to quarantine.   

Repeated aggravation may cause increased inflammation exacerbating the symptoms further.  On the other hand, pain avoidance behaviour such as isolating and limiting movement may also prevent the area of clearing the site after repair.  The viscous fluid and the fibrotic tissue now begin to set limiting range of motion.   


By taking your basic medical history and questioning you on the condition I would try and find predisposing factors contributing to the condition.  Following this I would assess your range of motion to give me a reference point of where you are with regards to movement and pain.  Orthopaedic testing would also be conducted to rule out any nerve related conditions.

Then, put simply it would be a matter of breaking up the adhesions around the shoulder complex through various techniques and then also testing and treating surrounding areas.  Remedial therapy also helps to clear the area of congestion and allow fresh oxygenated blood to tissues around the shoulder.

At times throughout treatment we would normally check for progress.  Did we get an increase in range of motion?  Has the pain been reduced?

We would also consider and observe any altered or adopted biomechanics due to the frozen shoulder and possibly advise on ways to improve this in order to prevent recurrence.

It is quite common to see posture that could use improvement with the general population and that is usually the case with people with shoulder issues.  Therefore, I give advice on appropriate corrective exercise or refer you to a allied health professional or personal trainer.    


Usually, great improvements are seen within the first few sessions.  But it’s also worth noting how long you’ve had the injury, predisposing condition and/or biomechanical patterns you’ve had that led up to this current state.  Hence it may not be an overnight fix.

I can come to you if you are located within the inner city of Melbourne or you can come visit me for a remedial massage in Fitzroy North or St Kilda on various days of the week.  Please contact me to check availability.