Frozen Shoulder & Torticolis

There are a number of painful shoulder conditions which can limit shoulder mobility but which are not a ‘true’ frozen shoulder. It has been my experience that many people with a frozen shoulder diagnosis actually have a different shoulder condition. A true frosen shoulder involves many small adhesions developing in the gleno-humeral (ball and socket) joint restricting movement and causing pain. I use mobilisations, myofascial traction techniques and harmonic technique to break down these adhesions to ‘free up’ the joint. However, it is also extremely important to address the muscular problems which have developed due to the frozen shoulder and cause much pain and problems in their own right. Muscles & fascia in the chest and shoulder become chronically shortened and painful ‘trigger points’ in the small muscles which stabilize the shoulder (rotator cuffs) cause local and referred pain (down the arm). If an individual has the joint adhesions addressed but not the short muscles and trigger points they are often left with much pain and little movement; all aspects must be addressed! I am also trained to assess and treat many other shoulder conditions which may be troubling a client (eg. shoulder impingement syndrome, rotator cuff strains, myofascial pain, a-c joint problems, thoracic outlet syndrome).

Torticollis can be congenital (eg. due to birth trauma) or acquired (due to injury, ‘cricking’ neck) and is sometimes called wry-neck. It is usually due to the sternocleidomastoid muscle being injured and going into spasm, shortening considerably. This bends the head back and to one side and if not addressed correctly this may become chronic with the head permanently stuck in this awkward position. Cervical vertebrae are also often out of place and the levator scapulae muscle involved in torticolis. Initial treatment focuses on releasing the shortened muscles which are in spasm with massage, myofascial release and advanced stretching. Painful trigger points in the muscles which are keeping muscles tight are also addressed and mobilisations may also be indicated. If vertebrae seem to be really stuck out of place, referral to a manipulative therapist may be appropriate once the muscular problems are easing.

Alton Advanced Bodywork is Kipp Clark; an Advanced Clinical Massage Therapist and specialist in Chronic Pain Treatment who treats clients in Alton, Fleet, Hampshire and Surrey.

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