Massage Therapy for Wrist/Arm/Shoulder
Massage therapy can help with wrist/arm/shoulder pain
Massage therapy is a safe and effective method to treat wrist/arm/shoulder pain. Often it is all that’s needed to get lasting relief. It can also be a useful addition to physical therapy treatments. If your pain is so severe that you are considering surgery please give massage a try first — it just might do the trick. And if you have already gotten surgery massage can help speed up your recovery.
What is a wrist/arm/shoulder pain?
Most everyone has at some time had a sore wrist, arm, or shoulder. Perhaps you overdid it doing that yard work, or being a weekend warrior playing sports, but now you have soreness. For many people, however, that soreness intensifies over time into intense pain. It could be pain in the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, arm, or shoulder. It might hurt doing a certain motion, reaching for something, trying to hold something, putting your arm high, or just laying on your side. Chronic pain can indeed be very severe, even disabling.
What causes it?
Many factors may be involved in wrist/arm/shoulder pain. Sometimes it stems directly from trauma or abrupt injury to tissues from a car accident, sports injury, or work injury. Often it slowly creeps up over time due to repetitive stress to the tissues. Doing the same motion over and over again at work, or at play, can, over time, result in chronic pain. Poor posture and poor ergonomics are usually factors as well. Over time trigger points can form in the tissues, creating yet another source of pain. Often the site of the pain is not where the cause is. For example, some wrist pain is mislabeled as carpal tunnel syndrome when in fact it stems from issues with the shoulder, elbow, or neck.
Sometimes the pain itself comes directly from injured tissues. Often the pain is the result of a nerve being compressed by a tight muscle or a distortion of a vertebra. Left untreated it often gets worse.
How massage therapy can help,
A thorough assessment is needed first in order to determine which strategy to use.
Simply relaxing muscles can sometimes help restore correct muscle tone. If tissues are injured lymphatic massage can aid recovery, especially if edema is present, while massaging surrounding tissues can help reduce tension at the injury site.
Releasing the tension in a tight muscle which is compressing a nerve can relieve pain. This might involve using cross fiber friction techniques, deep tissue, longitudinal stokes, PNF stretches, or neuromuscular therapy if trigger points are involved. All of these techniques are also used in an overall strategy to improve posture to avoid future nerve compression as well as to restore bio-mechanical balance to distorted joints.