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ToThePoint Massage Newsletter, Issue #002
June 09, 2013
In this newsletter I’d like to focus on shoulder trouble.
For years I suffered from chronic shoulder pain, until I discovered that the culprit was in fact my muscles, rather than the shoulders themselves. Before that I used to stretch and exercise my shoulders frequently, only to give up each time after a few minutes because of increased pain.
At that time I still thought that massage was simply a therapy for stress relief, so I never even thought about finding a cure for my shoulder troubles through massage treatment. You can imagine my surprise upon discovering that massage was much more than just a nice, relaxing stress reliever – that it delivered that too and so much more.
Most common cause of shoulder painWith targeted focus on the most common cause of shoulder pain, namely trigger points ( = muscle knots), I finally was rendered pain-free and able to exercise again.
This new lease on life and unexpected release from pain eventually transpired in my becoming a Massage Therapist myself. And even though this is a physically demanding profession, I never get shoulder pain any more.
Why shoulder pain often takes a long time to fixIt wasn’t a quick fix, though. There are twenty-four muscles that influence the shoulder, seventeen of which are attached to the shoulder blade. Only when all the muscles work together in perfect harmony are the movements of the three shoulder joints and the blade smooth and pain-free.
Should even only one of these muscles develop trigger points, then shoulder trouble is predictable. The offending muscle becomes weak, and other muscles then have to compensate. Under this extra burden, the compensating muscles develop trigger points themselves, and a vicious cycle ensues.
Dysfunction and pain begin to set in: simple chores such as combing one’s hair, scratching one’s back or lifting something off a shelf become difficult. Eventually the constant pain will sap your joy, disrupt your sleep and make your life miserable. Some people even end up with a so-called frozen shoulder.
The problem with trigger points is that they often send out pain signals to apparently unrelated areas of the body, making it difficult to pinpoint the source, as we will see in the following scenario:
Pain in front of the shoulder is quite common. This kind of pain could be emanating from any one of twelve different muscles, and could in fact be the result of more than one trigger point acting simultaneously.
Complex shoulder treatmentThis often makes the treatment complex and time-consuming.
One massage treatment will never make you feel much better, especially when you’ve had your problem for long enough for the initial trigger point to have started a domino-type effect on other muscles, and multiple trigger points have developed. In such a case several sessions will be needed before you can expect to see results.
Another thing you have to consider in Trigger Point Therapy is that recovery is usually not straightforward.
It takes time for your muscles to find a new, pain-free balance. This often means that you can expect to experience more pain in between sessions and might not see much progress for a while. It is therefore most important that you don’t decide that this kind of treatment isn’t helping before giving it a fair go.
The good news is that pain, stiffness and dysfunction caused by trigger points can be successfully treated – at least with some patience.
Let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to answering them.
I will also use this to inform you about any massage specials and sweepstakes that are current.
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