Tag Archives: Ice an Injury

Can Massage Help Heal Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder is also known as adhesive capsulitis. The capsule that holds the bones, ligaments and tendons of your shoulder thickens and tightens around the joint causing a restriction in movement.  The symptoms start gradually, get worse over time, and include stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. Some people might notice their pain getting worse at night when they are sleeping.

There are typically three stages of Frozen Shoulder:

  • Painful stage. This is the stage where pain and limited range of motion start.
  • Frozen stage. In this stage the pain might decrease and, unfortunately, your limited range of motion and stiffness gets worse.
  • Thawing stage. During the thawing stage, the range of motion in your shoulder begins to improve.

Massage can break up the holding associated with Frozen Shoulder. Massage incorporated with exercises and stretches a therapist can give you, will help you to be well on your way to recovery.

Some others things that have been known to help heal Frozen Shoulder:

  1. When lifting with just one arm, lift with your unaffected arm.
  2. When lifting with both arms, do not lift over your head.
  3. Ice your shoulder after heavy activity for up to but no longer than 15 minutes.
  4. Heat your shoulder by taking a shower or using a heating pack in the morning.
  5. Heat your shoulder, if you are not inflamed, before doing your exercises.
  6. Ice your shoulder several times a day when you are inflamed or in a lot of pain.
  7. Support your elbow with a pillow when you sitting and your arm with a pillow when you are sleeping so that gravity does not pull your shoulder down.
  8. In the first painful stage, don’t do something that causes pain. Be very gentle.
  9. Do the exercises you get from your treatment massage therapist every day. The improvement might seem slow but this is very important.
  10. Acupuncture has been known to be helpful with decreasing the pain and symptoms that come with Frozen Shoulder.

Thanks for taking the time and reading this post. If you have Frozen Shoulder, I hope you recover quickly. PJ Harri, LMP http://www.pjharris.com/


What is the Cause and What Can You Do to Relieve Pain in Your Jaw?

tmjDo you have jaw pain and are not sure what the cause is?
You might have TMJD (temporomandibular joint disorder). TMJD cause tenderness and pain in the  (TMJ) — the joint on each side of your head in front of your ears, where your lower jawbone meets your skull. This joint allows you to talk, chew and yawn.

What are some of the symptoms of TMJD?
~ Radiating pain in the face, jaw, or neck
~ Jaw muscle stiffness
~ Limited movement or locking of the jaw
~ Painful clicking, popping or grating in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth
~ A change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together.
~ Swelling on the side of the face
~ Toothaches
~ Difficulty with chewing
~ Jaw misalignment
~ Headaches
~ Neck aches
~ Earaches and hearing problems.

What can I do about TMJD?
In most cases, pain and discomfort associated with TMJD can be alleviated with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments, but more-severe cases may need to be treated with dental or surgical interventions.
Here is a list of things to try that might help:
~ Eat soft foods
~ Applying ice packs
~ Avoiding extreme jaw movements like wide yawning and gum chewing
~ Learning techniques for relaxing and reducing stress to prevent jaw clenching or teeth grinding
~ Dental appliance (aka mouth guard) to prevent grinding your teeth while you sleep
~ Practicing gentle jaw stretching and relaxing exercises that may help increase jaw movement. Your health care provider or a physical therapist can recommend exercises if appropriate for your particular condition.

Information found on this blog is not a definitive diagnosis of any condition and as always check with your physician to receive an actual diagnosis. Thank you, PJ Harris, LMP. http://www.pjharris.com/

Do your feet hurt?

Do the bottoms of your feet or heels hurt, especially in the morning? You may have what is known as Plantar Fasciitis. This is inflammation of the plantar fascia, also known as the connective tissue on the bottom of your feet. I see this a lot in my Seattle massage practice.

What is the cause of this painful condition?

  1. A rolling in of the foot, known as pronation.
  2. Repeated high intesity of the foot due to high impact (jogging and skiing) or repeated quick turning (basketball).
  3. Tight calves or quadriceps.
  4. Unsupportive shoes.

There are a few things you can do to take better care of your feet and help reduce the pain of Plantar Fasciitis.

  1. First of all start by seeing your doctor to make sure you actually have Plantar Fasciitis.
  2. Give your feet a break. Try lower impact, more gentle activities that are kinder to them until you get this under control.
  3. See a massage therapist who can break up the stuck fascia in your feet and work on relaxing those calves and hamstrings.
  4. While sitting, gently stretch your feet by placing a towel on the bottom of your foot and pull on both ends of the towel. Another way to stretch your feet is to roll them on a footsie roller http://www.absolutelythepurest.com/gifts-and-gadgets/footsie-roller.html.
  5. Perform ice massage on the bottom of your feet by placing a mostly but not quite full water bottle in the freezer and rolling your feet on it. This is especially helpful in the morning when Plantar Fasciitis can be more painful.
  6. Talk to your doctor about your shoes and whether or not you need arch support or orthodics.
  7. Increase your flexibility by picking up items like pencils or towels with your bare feet.
  8. Stretch your calves. See images below.Calf Stretch 1

I stress the importance of creating healthy foot care habits. soleus

Be good to your feet and they will be good to you.


Thank you for reading. PJ Harris, LMP http://www.pjharris.com/

15 Quick Tips for Icing Injuries

In the spirit of the weather turning cold lets talk ice. It is one of the most effective treatments of injuries such as strains and sprains. We massage practitioners emphasize this until the cows come home. You hear us do this because it works. It makes all the difference in the world on how fast you will recover. Here are some ice tips:

  1. It is most important to use ice within 48 hours of injury.
  2. Do not use heat within 72 hours for it will promote swelling.
  3. If you use heat after 72 hours and you still have swelling, be sure to end with a session of ice.
  4. Use for up to but no longer than 10 minutes for thin tissue like ankles, feet, hands, wrists, elbow.
  5. Use for up to but no longer than 15 minutes for medium thick tissue like shoulders, mid back, neck, knees.
  6. Use for up to but no longer than 20 minutes for thick tissue like gluts, thighs, and calves.
  7. Make sure to leave 45 minutes to an hour between icing sessions.
  8. Let ice rest on injury keeping a thin layer of cloth between you and the ice.
  9. You can also massage an injury with ice. You don’t need a cloth layer but don’t let the ice rest on one spot.
  10.   Homemade ice pack option 1 is freeze a Ziploc baggie or hot water bottle filled halfway with 1 part rubbing alcohol and 2 parts water.
  11.   Homemade ice pack option 2 is a bag of frozen corn or peas.
  12.   Homemade ice pack option 3 is freeze a wet cloth the size of your choosing.
  13.   Homemade ice pack option 4 is a little paper cup with frozen water to perform ice massage on an injury.
  14.   When you are icing a limb, if possible, keep it above your heart while icing.
  15.   Any concerns make sure to call your health service provider!!

I encourage my Seattle Treatment massage clients to ice and have found the ones who do achieve better results. Thank you, PJ Harris LMP. http://www.pjharris.com/