Frozen shoulder, otherwise known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that affects the shoulder when it gradually loses its ability to move coupled with persistent pain. The pain and mobility limitation in the shoulder can make doing everyday tasks difficult. Choosing not to use the shoulder to avoid feeling pain will actually make the condition worse. In order for the shoulder to recover, an effective management plan for treatment must be set in place. One way to get relief from this condition is by getting a frozen shoulder massage in Singapore.
The benefits of a frozen shoulder massage
A frozen shoulder massage is different from regular massages that you can get in spas. This type of massage is specifically developed to bring relief to the shoulder by:
- Easing tension in the shoulder
- Improving blood circulation
- Promoting relaxation
- Reducing inflammation
It is important to note that frozen shoulder massage is not a permanent fix for frozen shoulder, but rather it temporarily alleviates pain in the shoulder and prevents the shoulder’s limited range of motion from getting worse.
Understanding frozen shoulder syndrome
Frozen shoulder syndrome can run through a long period of time and it development happens in three stages:
- First stage: Freezing
- Second stage: Frozen
- Third stage: Thawing
Freezing stage. This stage can happen in the course of two to nine months. During this time, pain can be felt every time the shoulder is moved and its range of motion becomes limited.
Frozen stage. The condition enters the frozen stage when the shoulder feels less pain. However, while the pain felt is minimal, the shoulder becomes stiffer and harder to use. This stage can go on for four to twelve months.
Thawing stage. One can finally see the light of day when the condition reaches the thawing stage. By this time, moving the shoulder becomes easier and less painful. This improvement can last anywhere from six months up to two years.
Effective application of frozen shoulder massage through the stages
Applying massage therapy for your frozen shoulder will not cure the syndrome outrightly, but it will make the condition more manageable. Here is how massages can be effective in each stage:
- First stage: Massaging the affected area can help ease pain. Worsening of the shoulder’s range of motion limitation may be prevented from progressing.
- Second stage: Pain relief and shoulder atrophy in the affected muscles can be delayed when massage and gentle movements are applied to the affected area, specifically the shoulder’s joint capsule.
- Third stage: Simple stretches and exercises become easier, speeding up the shoulder’s healing and recovery.
It is imperative that the frozen shoulder not only receives messages, but other physiotherapy treatments as well to ensure that the condition will not recur.
Examples of frozen shoulder massages
Applying frozen shoulder massages without the guidance of a health professional can worsen your condition, so do not do this on your own. Have a consultation with your doctor first before trying out frozen shoulder massages that you can do at home. Get advice from a physical therapist as they have excellent knowledge about the proper massages that can address your frozen shoulder problems. They will also be able to guide you on how to perform them the right way. Always remember to be extra careful when doing these massages to prevent aggravating your injury.
An experienced physical therapist can help you with your frozen shoulder by performing massage techniques that can successfully manage your symptoms. Again, frozen shoulder massages will not bring permanent cure to this condition, but will help your shoulder feel better for a time. Below are some massages that can be applied to a frozen shoulder:
Active Release Therapy
- This technique uses a mix of massage, mobility exercises and stretches targeting the tension in the shoulder’s muscles. This method aims to target the soft tissue in the shoulder and improve its condition, as well as reduce the pain felt in the area.
Deep Tissue Massage
- This method is performed by applying pressure and strokes that are consistent and heavy onto the affected area until it reaches deep into the muscles. As the motion reaches the depths of the muscles, it breaks up scar tissue to minimize tension.
Trigger Point Therapy
- This approach is more focused on managing muscular pain. It targets painful spots, called trigger points, in the muscle that may be caused by repetitive trauma. Determining these trigger points and breaking them up can bring pain relief to a frozen shoulder.
Some frozen shoulder massages done at home may require tools, such as a foam roller or a portable electric massage gun.
- How it is done: Focus the electric massage handgun on the areas in the shoulder where there is tension and tightness.
Foam roller shoulder massage
- How it is done: While lying sideways on the floor, place the foam roller beneath the underarm of the affected shoulder. Gently extend your arm over the roller with your palm facing up. Slowly roll back and forth and repeat this motion for a few times.
Foam roller underarm massage
- How it is done: While lying sideways on the floor, place the foam roller beneath the underarm of the affected shoulder. Gently extend your arm over the roller and rest your hand on the floor. Slowly roll back and forth and repeat this motion for one minute.
- How it is done: Using your opposite hand, gently massage the affected areas of the shoulder and arm. Put more attention on the parts that are more sensitive.
Frozen shoulder risks
Knowing the risks of developing frozen shoulders can help prevent the condition from developing. Below are risk factors that can contribute to frozen shoulder syndrome:
- Age – People who have reached the age of 40 are more likely to develop this condition
- Gender – Women are more prone to getting frozen shoulder than men
- Diseases – Some diseases increase the risk of developing frozen shoulder, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and Parkinson’s disease
- Reduced mobility – Limited or restricted shoulder movement can further aggravate frozen shoulder syndrome among individuals whose risks of developing the condition are high due to an arm or rotator cuff injury, stroke, or those who are in the stage of recovery following surgery.
Frozen shoulder massages are highly effective to temporarily alleviate pain and improve the mobility of the affected shoulder. There are massages that can be done by physical therapists, as well as those that can be done by yourself at home. Massages should always be done according to a medical practitioner’s advice to prevent the condition from getting worse.
Camden Medical Centre #06-01 Singapore 248649
Phone: 6235 2347