Some injuries and conditions are well-known in our popular culture, whether an individual has suffered from them personally or knows someone who has. For example, most people will tell you they know someone who has talked about their tennis elbow or arthritis. But then other conditions escape our attention and can catch us by surprise when they do show up.
One example of a lesser-known injury is called a frozen shoulder. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s okay because we’re going to discuss what a frozen shoulder is, how it’s caused, the common risk factors, and the general healing process so you can feel more informed on this non-permanent but serious condition.
What Is Frozen Shoulder?
The technical term for a frozen shoulder is adhesive capsulitis, which shows up as pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. The condition begins slowly, gradually growing worse, before receding as slowly as it began. Overall, a frozen shoulder can last anywhere between one and three years on average.
What Causes Frozen Shoulder?
A frozen shoulder means you have limited mobility of your shoulder and pain when you try to move it. Connective tissues surround our shoulder joints and give us a wide range of motion. Our movement becomes restricted when those connective tissues thicken and tighten around the joint.
It’s not always clear why this condition happens to some people, but it is more likely to occur after keeping a shoulder still for a long stretch of time. Anyone who has undergone surgery that requires keeping their arm still or individuals healing from an arm fracture is more likely to develop a frozen shoulder.
Women who are over the age of forty are also at higher risk for developing frozen shoulder without clear causation, although perimenopause has been shown to be a factor. Certain
Suffering from a frozen shoulder? Here are the top massage therapy treatments to provide relief, along with important facts you need to know about the condition.
diseases are also linked to frozen shoulder. A few diseases that may put people at higher risk include:
- Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Cardiovascular disease
- Parkinson’s disease
How to Prevent Frozen Shoulder
The best prevention of a frozen shoulder is to maintain joint mobility. Individuals who’ve had surgery, arm fractures, or other scenarios where they’ll be required to reduce the movement of their arms can prevent a frozen shoulder by maintaining regular shoulder exercises and stretching where possible.
How to Heal Frozen Shoulder
Healing a frozen shoulder requires patience and professional attention. You can heal your frozen shoulder over time, from massage treatments to physiotherapy to acupuncture and at-home activities. Each individual is unique, which means the ideal treatment will vary for each person. Here are some of the key ways you can progress towards healing.
Best Massage Treatments for Frozen Shoulder
The key to treating a frozen shoulder is to encourage the movement of the shoulder and the surrounding muscles and tissues. Even while this may be uncomfortable at the start, it’s important to train your body to regain its range of motion and prevent the frozen shoulder from lasting longer. The following are the best-recommended massage therapies that can help speed up your recovery from a frozen shoulder.
Myofascial release therapy targets the myofascial tissues that connect your muscles throughout your body. Our Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) will work your tissues gently to release tension and increase the flexibility of this tissue. You’ll find this treatment effective in helping to alleviate stiffness and pain, which is beneficial to anyone suffering from a frozen shoulder.
Myofascial cupping is a massage technique that uses the ancient tradition of cupping to relieve tension and reduce adhesions in the myofascial tissues. This treatment effectively breaks up deep muscle tension and supports myofascial tissue, resulting in rapid healing and pain relief. The combined therapy of myofascial release and myofascial cupping are effective strategies for healing a frozen shoulder.
Trigger-point therapy is another effective massage technique for a frozen shoulder because it treats the muscle and tissue that trigger tension in your shoulder. Gently massaging these points helps loosen up the surrounding muscles, improving your range of motion. We recommend trigger-point therapy for clients with reduced mobility, including chronic muscle pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia, in addition to clients with a frozen shoulder.
Manual osteopathy is a treatment that helps strengthen your joints, muscles, and spine with a gentle, hands-on technique called palpation. Combining manual osteopathy with massage therapy or trigger point therapy can be more effective in reducing tension, pain, and limited mobility in your body due to a frozen shoulder.
Red Light Therapy
A red light therapy session is another to enhance any massage treatment. We recommend our PBM red light therapy treatment to clients who experience muscle tension, joint pain, stress and anxiety, and inflammation.
Many of our clients book a red light therapy session before their massage appointment not only for the health benefits but also because it has plenty of benefits for our skin, including reducing signs of aging.
Other Treatment Options to Manage Your Frozen Shoulder
Massage therapy treatments are an essential component of your healing journey when loosening your muscles, surrounding tissues, and range of motion in your joints. In addition to massages, other health and wellness treatments can help you regain your mobility at home or by visiting a specialist.
Visiting a physiotherapist or an acupuncturist and doing at-home stretches to loosen up the shoulder and surrounding tissues can all help speed up your healing process.
Summary: What You Should Know About a Frozen Shoulder
To summarize what you need to know about frozen shoulder, who is at risk for it, and how to treat it, here are some pointers to remember:
- Frozen shoulder is not a permanent condition
- Range of motion treatment and exercise help prevent and heal a frozen shoulder
- Women over the age of forty and post-surgery patients are at the highest risk
- Frozen shoulder can last between one and three years, depending on treatment
Massage for Frozen Shoulder in St. Albert
Are you suffering from a frozen shoulder? Start healing your injury by booking an appointment with one of our experienced practitioners here in St. Albert.