A story of “Frozen Shoulder” (Adhesive Capsulitis)

I just wanted to enjoy the opportunity to share with you a little bit more of what we can really do with the Therapeutic Bodywork, kind of an education that might help people to understand why they feel pain and how they can try to stay “pain free” as much as possible.

I cannot and will not talk about my clients, but I can talk about clinical cases I was able to help, or blessed enough to be able to…

Frozen shoulder | Orthopedic Massage Therapy | Flower MoundFrozen shoulder… let’s see… reported pain in the joint, restricted range of motion despite months of physical therapy; the arm just won’t “go up”!

As massage therapists is not in our scope of practice to diagnose; as a matter of fact the Adhesive Capsulitis was diagnosed by a physician.

What matters to me, is that my client was kind of “run down”, even emotionally, by this constant, nagging, handicapping, ache. Big medical words and details are not crucial to understand a person in pain.

Well, what I had in front of me was a poor posture, forward, to be precise, shoulders rolled in, head protruded forward, relaxed abdominal muscles (the core of our body, they should be strong) and a shoulder blade that did not move laterally at all – i.e. the arm cannot go out and up.

What I felt under my hands was a bunch of “ropes”, “knots” and tiny little stones all over the muscle fibers. Everything was sooo tight!

With more than a little patience I set myself to peel all that pain and tightness off. But I do not work alone. Never. The person on the table is an active participant of his/her own improvement. I need her to push, pull, breathe and relax with me, actively stretching and engaging muscles and tendons and ligaments. Otherwise, me alone, is not enough.

Actually what I really think is that is not about me. It’s about them. I’m just a “conductor”, sort of a tuning fork of good energy, positive stimuli and, why not, love and hope. If they want to get better, they will.

The outcome was extremely positive: that shoulder could move again, and in a matter of days the pain in the joint dissipated and hasn’t reappeared. Yes, because the inflammation in the bursae was caused by all the tension and inactivity of the whole structure. Once blood flow was restored and muscles and fascia loosened up, everything went back to normal!

Now for this person, it’s just a commitment to lightly work out and stretch, a little adjustment on nutrition, better food… just common sense, without getting too fancy… and it works!