The shoulder is a complex joint in the body. It is designed for mobility. The ability to reach forward, raise your hands overhead, and swing your arms across the body are all examples of motions the shoulder is designed for. What happens when there is shoulder pain?
Pain is the number one factor in limited range of motion, followed by muscle tightness.
Causes for shoulder pain can be bursitis, tendonitis, or impingement from the bones.
Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa in the shoulder. All bursa in the body are designed to reduce friction for movement. With bursitis, you will usually feel pain all the time, especially if laying on the affected shoulder. It is usually caused from overuse, but can have other onsets as well such as bone spurs. Icing the shoulder is my recommendation in addition to booking your lymphatic facilitation massage with me to provide pain relief.
Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon anywhere in the body. Shoulder tendonitis can be inflammation of either the long bicep tendon or of the supraspinatus tendon. Tendonitis is also generally an overuse injury, doing the same motion over and over again. Therapeutic massage can release the tired muscles and the surrounding muscles, and increase circulation to the area. For immediate pain relief, ice is again the best option without medications, then scheduling your bodywork session.
Shoulder impingement usually occurs when muscles that attach to the acromion pull the shoulder blade toward the front of the body. This closes off the space for tendons, nerves, and blood vessels to pass through. It can lead to both bursitis and tendonitis if left untreated. The best way to relieve impingement is to book your bodywork session! I can release the tension in the muscles causing the impingement, show stretches, and give postural training so that the relief lasts. Building off of the last post about fascia, if the muscles that pull the top of the shoulder blade up and forward over the shoulder, it means the muscles that do the opposite are in an overstretched state. The muscles that keep the shoulder down and against the back of the rib cage will need to be strengthened.
As mentioned under each form of injury there are ways to relieve your shoulder pain. For any inflammation ice works well. Scheduling your therapeutic massage, specifically for lymphatic facilitation can also help with inflammation. Bodywork in general will benefit your shoulders by releasing the tension and stresses of daily life. Improving posture and muscle balance and reeducating your body to perform more functionally are additional benefits when you work with McClure Bodyworks to create a pain free lifestyle.