What is Frozen Shoulder?
The Mayo Clinic characterises frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis as ‘stiffness or pain in the shoulder joint’.
The signs and symptoms of frozen shoulder often begin slowly and gradually become worse and worse.
With the right treatment process, the shoulder can typically make a recovery with 1 to 3 years. While considered recovered, some may notice that their shoulder never returns to its previous full range of motion.
Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder typically develops in three stages. They are:
- freezing stage
- frozen stage
- thawing stage
The freezing stage can last anywhere from 2-9 months. During this stage, restrictions on the joint and range of motion are usually minimally impacted. Although, the patient can present experiencing shoulder pain and stiffness that continues to worsen.
During the frozen stage, many people will experience a loss of active & passive ranges of motion. This means that many will not achieve shoulder mobility even through help from physical therapists, due to adhesions in the shoulder that prevent proper mechanics. This stage can last 4-6 months but can sometimes last up to a year.
The final stage of the frozen shoulder process is thawing. This segment of the process, on average, lasts at least 6 months but can take up to 2 years. During this stage, the shoulder capsule will gradually loosen and range of motion return.
Benefits of Massage for Frozen Shoulder
While frozen shoulder cannot be 'cured' through massage, it can certainly help reduce the impact of the symptoms.
There are a range of massage techniques that can assist to ease the pain of the frozen shoulder symptoms. Those include:
- active release therapy
- swedish massage
- deep tissue massage
- trigger point therapy
These massage techniques have proven to successfully treat the pain and range of motion issues that are associated with frozen shoulder.
Massage paired with physical therapy is a fantastic combination to combat frozen shoulder. Our friends over at The Allied Health Team, have provided us with a set of exercises, that when paired with massage, will help you to manage your frozen shoulder.
Our team of therapists are extensively trained on how to assist you with frozen shoulder massage. We understand that the pain associated can be debilitating and we are armed with the tools to resolve that pain.