Massage for frozen shoulder: part three

By Paola Bassanese

After another massage session with a client presenting with frozen shoulder, I have once again established that the talking part of the treatment is as important if not more important than the mechanical action of massaging.

We (my client and I) have also established that there is no such thing as a “category” for frozen shoulder and there is no “one size fits all” solution.

In theory, I should work with the client in a side-lying position, lift the upper arm and reach the insertion of the infraspinatus working inside the armpit and the inside of the shoulder blade/serratus anterior. But the reality is that ANY movement is simply too painful. No stretching allowed as it’s too painful. Effleurage and gentle petrissage using thumbs with a medium pressure are tolerated (endured).

The area affected was injected with cortisone and saline but the client is still in pain and has very limited movement and even taking painkillers does not help.

Very targeted, small area petrissage/friction using thumbs on biceps/triceps/deltoids/trapezius/spinalis are providing some relief but I must check with each movement for discomfort.

I did manage though to spend more time on the shoulder which is encouraging.

I just hope we reach a breakthrough.