Tag Archives: injury recovery

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/

A Frequent Culprit of Shoulder and Upper Back Pain II

bad postureIn the original post “A Frequent Culprit of Shoulder and Upper Back Pain” we spoke to the issue of having a bound up Subscapularis and how that can pull your shoulders inward causing them to be rounded. There have been so many hits on that post. So, I thought I would write about another issue that is a culprit for medial shoulder rotation or rounded shoulders and sunken chest. I see so many people at my Seattle Treatment massage practice with this issue.back-bones-muscles

Often if you have a bound up or tight muscle pulling a joint in one direction out of alignment while you have another muscle on the other side letting it go. How does this happen? Usually, one of the muscles is weak and not pulling it’s weight, literally. Often with medial shoulder rotation the muscles that are weak are your upper back muscles.

 To help with upper back muscle strengthening I have posted videos of a few great exercises below. Always consult with your physician before doing any new form of exercise.

 

 

 

 

 

Remember if you want to get rid of pain and stiffness in your shoulders and upper back from sitting, standing, walking or sleeping with poor posture, you need to make sure your upper back is strong enough to correctly hold your frame. Thanks for reading this post and watching the videos. PJ Harris, LMP

What Can You Do for Whiplash?

whiplashIf you are in a motor vehicle accident and feel any of the symptoms listed below, get to a doctor immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself. You may have whiplash. Sometimes whiplash symptoms might not show themselves for over 24 hours or even for a few days. As I have stated before in previous posts, the sooner you get treatment, including massage, the greater your chance for recovery. Until you see a professional, make sure you ice several times a day to help keep the swelling down.

Whiplash isn’t only caused by motor vehicle accidents. It can be caused by anything that abruptly jerks the neck. I treated a client once who had whiplash due to falling down.

In most cases, cervical collars are a bad idea. They promote stiffness and do nothing more than remind you to not turn you neck. The sooner you can start turning your neck the better. Using slow movements and stopping when the pain gets too severe is better than full immobilization.

These are the most common symptoms of whiplash:
~Neck pain and stiffness
~Headaches
~Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
~Low back pain
~Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand
~Dizziness
~Ringing in the ears or blurred vision
~Difficulty concentrating or remembering
~Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue

The treatment massage work I suggest to do on clients in the first stage of whiplash includes: 
*Gently massaging the neck
*Gentle passive neck stretches
*Work on the torso with massage and stretches to free up the rib, cage, shoulders and arms
*All followed by icing for 10-15 minutes in the acute stage.

If you have any questions about the post material, feel free to ask in the comment section below. Thanks for reading, PJ Harris, LMP. http://www.pjharris.com/

How Soon After an Injury Should I Seek Treatment?

massage-LThat is the million dollar question. So many people who come to see me at my Seattle Treatment Massage practice, show up after they have had an injury for a while because the injury is not healing. By then the body has developed holding patterns and scar tissue in reaction to the injury. These issues can create more work for your massage therapist who has to help you break up your scar tissue and relax your holding patterns. This can lead to a longer time for your injury to heal.

 Holding patterns and scar tissue are the bodies way of protecting itself from further injury. While this can be helpful during your accident to possibly protect you from more traumas, it is important to slowly encourage your body to relax and heal so that you won’t continue to develop additional scar tissue and tighter holding patterns. Massage is the best way I know to help with this process.

It is important when you sustain a serious muscle injury to see your doctor and find out if you are in need of a prescription for massage. This is especially important in cases of a motor vehicle accident or a serious fall. I believe you increase your chance for a more speedy recovery from an acute injury if you can get treatment within 24-72 hours.

I had someone on my table not to long ago that had a serious fall and came to me the very next day. Her lower back was quite sore and she rated the pain an 8 on a 1-10 scale. She received that massage and another one two days later. She was amazed how much better she felt after receiving the massages. I believe if she would have waited a few weeks for her pain to “go away” and then come to me for massage, I would be writing a much different story. Thanks for reading, PJ Harris LMP http://www.pjharris.com/

Can Massage Help Heal Tendinitis?

elbow2I am going to give you all a quick rundown of information regarding Tendinitis. This injury can be successfully treated with patience, diligence and even massage.

Tendinitis
Tendinitis is inflammation (swelling) of the tendon. A tendon is the type of tissue that connects muscle to bone.

Symptoms
* Heat and swelling
* Referred pain
* Burning and/or sharp pain

Cause
* Repetitive motion, overuse
* Tendon/muscle weakness
* Poor posture
* Sprains or strains are often accompanied by Tendinitis

Four Types of Tendinitis (symptoms)
1. Painful after activity
2. Painful at the beginning, goes away during and then returns after activity
3. Painful beginning, during and after activity and might inhibit said activity
4. Painful with all activity and is getting worse

Treatment Tips
1. Ask your doctor to give you an actual diagnosis
2. Ice after activity
3. Rest from causing activity
4. Massage
5. Painless stretches given to you from a Health Practitioner
6. Strengthening exercises given to you from a Health Practitioner

Some believe that deep friction massage helps stimulate collagen production in the damaged fibers. Others believe that using massage to break up the scar tissue is the key to healing Tendinitis. Either way, massage is most beneficial in the treatment of Tendinitis. Don’t wait, get relief. PJ Harris, LMP http://www.pjharris.com/

Beware of Treatment Overload

Have you had chronic pain for a while and are ready to do something about it? Are you fed up with ignoring your pain glass-300x300in hopes that it will go away? Are you fired up to take action and do what ever you can to heal your body? That is a great mindset to be in to make a change in your life. It often is what is required to help yourself light that fire and make a difference.

Often clients come to my Seattle Treatment Massage practice and they are motivated with a capital “M” to break their cycle of pain. Those clients are usually the ones who progress the fastest. They do their exercise homework. They focus on better posture. They make their health a top priority. All of this is inspiring and quite effective.

They also might start seeing many different practitioners to address all of the causes of their pain and nip this in the bud. The  outcome of that approach can create, if one is not careful, what I call Treatment Overload. This happens when the client is spending so much time going to tons of appointments that they get burned out. They feel overwhelmed and possibly frustrated when they are not healing as fast as they would like. They then might swing to the other end of the spectrum and quit all kinds of treatment entirely.

Be very careful and balanced in your health approach. When dealing with an issue of chronic (long term) or acute (recent) pain it is important that you make decisions coming from a grounded space. I often will suggest that a client , unless it will be a detriment to their health, limit the amount of practitioners they are seeing to 2-3 at a time. It is also important to question the validity of a course of treatment that seems to not be providing results. Do not be afraid to ask your practitioner questions regarding their intention with their choice of treatment for you. Remember you are the leader of your health team.

Thank you for reading. PJ Harris, 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:
~Acupuncture
~Massage
~ 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/