To prevent shoulder problems from occurring, always practice healthy shoulder habits:
- Maintain good posture
- Avoid excessive and repetitive use of your shoulders
- If you sit at work, take frequent breaks (20/20 rule...)
- Don't put undue stress on the shoulders with heavy backpacks or purses
- Consult your massage therapist or doctor if you injure or develop pain in your shoulder, even if it seems minor
- Do any maintenance exercises prescribed by your massage therapist
Massage therapists can help when shoulder problems occur. More importantly, they can help prevent these kinds of problems from happening in the first place. Your massage therapist will evaluate your shoulder through range of motion tests and other assessment procedures. They can then give you recommendations on the best course of treatment.
The first priority is to make you feel more comfortable by getting rid of your pain. This can be done with specialized massage techniques. Heat or hydrotherapy are additional options. To help the process along and to help prevent further problems, your massage therapist can also give you exercises to help strengthen your should and help maintain your mobility.
We are trained to treat trigger points. As mentioned previously, these knots mimic other common shoulder conditions and are often an overlooked source of pain. We can tell you if trigger points may be playing a role in your shoulder problem.
If you've injured your shoulder, we will likely prescribe some exercises, like the ones illustrated below, to help you regain the strength, flexibility and range of motion in your shoulder. Below are examples of typical exercises given to people with shoulder injuries.
SHOULDER EXERCISE #1 - THE WAND
You can stand, sit or even lie down for this exercise. Hold a cane or stick straight out in front of you. Slowly raise the "wand" as high as you can overhead. Hold the wand at the highest possible point for a couple of seconds. Lower the arms and repeat the exercise several times. By using a wand, the "good" arm helps assist the movement of the injured one. Your massage therapist may have you move the wand in other directions, such as side to side.
SHOULDER EXERCISE #2 - WALL WALKING
Stand about 12 to 18 inches away from a wall. Slowly wlak our fingers up the wall to the point where you start to feel some discomfort. Note how high you were able to go. Try the exercise again and try to go a little higher. Repeat several times. Your massage therapist may have you face the wall and use both hands or have you standing sideways to the wall and use just the injured arm.