man getting a massage

Shoulder pain is a common condition from which many people suffer. It can cause decreased range of motion, interrupt sleeping habits, and cause an overall decrease in quality of life.

Treatments for shoulder pain vary, but massage therapy can be a great approach for many reasons.

How does the shoulder work?

It can be helpful to understand how your shoulder joints work. The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that is the most flexible out of them all. It is made up of two separate parts, the glenohumeral and acromioclavicular joints. They are held together by ligaments and muscles and facilitate a wide range of movement for the arms.

What can cause shoulder pain?

Given how flexible the shoulder joints are and how much they are used, there are many things that can cause them to hurt. Overuse and dislocation are two causes of pain. Here are some others you should be aware of.

  1. Tendonitis: This is an injury caused by overuse in which the tendons become inflamed. You may typically think of this condition happening in the wrists, but your shoulders can experience tendonitis pain too. Diseases like arthritis can cause tendonitis.
  2. Bursitis: Shoulder joints (and your other joints) are cushioned by bursa. These are fluid-filled sacs that can become inflamed, which will cause shoulder pain.
  3. Impingement: Sometimes the acromion (top shoulder blade) can put pressure on the rotator cuff bursae and tendons. This can cause a “collision” that inhibits normal range of motion.
  4. Arthritis: This condition can affect multiple joints in your body. The wear and tear on your shoulder joints can cause stiffness, pain, and a reduction in range of motion.
  5. Frozen shoulder: The technical term for this is adhesive capsulitis. The condition can cause stiffness and pain with even the simplest of movements. You are at most risk of getting this condition if you are not able to move your shoulders, like after surgery.
  6. Rotator cuff injuries: These typically occur after overuse when lifting or moving things overhead.

How massage therapy can ease shoulder pain

Getting massage therapy will not heal the above conditions, but it can ease most or all of their symptoms. It does this by reducing stress, tension, pressure, and pain in the joints, muscles, and other tissues. In turn, muscle spasms and contractions are reduced. If surgery is not in your treatment plan, massage can help with stretching muscles, loosening joints, and promote overall healing.

How this therapy helps with range of motion

Massage therapy has both emotional and physical benefits. The therapist will focus on relaxing your muscles and your mind. Their goal is to relax the tension in your body, but this should release tension emotionally too. Once you are completely relaxed, your range of motion can improve.

For older clients, massage therapy can help restore the ability to take care of daily tasks like dressing and bathing. This can be life changing, especially when massages paired with medical treatments. For younger clients, this therapy can help with range of motion too, especially for athletes.

Softer-pressure massage styles will provide all of the above benefits, but not as much as other types, like sports massage. Helpful techniques for improving range of motion and reducing pain include effleurage, friction, and petrissage.

Massage therapy in Austin

If you have shoulder pain, massage therapy may be a good treatment option for you. After speaking with your physician, call the experts at Zen Deep Therapy. We provide a variety of Services to help you relax and get back to doing the things you love. You can reach us at (512) 940-4087 or Contact Us by email for more information.