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August 16, 2005

Pain Under The Shoulder Blade

A long-time client had not been to see me in a while. They called and described pain in their arm and shoulder that was quite sharp. Upon palpation, the back and shoulder and neck muscles were quite tight on the afflicted side. I worked them out with massage and heat and the client rebooked for another half hour.

In the second appointment, I did quite a bit of gentle but thorough work to the muscles in the upper arm and scapula where the pain was located. The texture of the tissue in the upper arm was ridged like a crinkle potato chip and the sensation to the client was quite sharp. I find a lot of this in the muscles of my clients where there are large slabs of muscle such as the iliotibial band and the deltoid. It was important to release tension in subscapularis as this is where the majority of the client's pain was coming from.

In the third appointment, they opted for an hour-long session. Loosening the should and neck, they directed me to the area of the most pain to the front of the shoulder. The pectoralis major muscle was very tight and inflammed and tender. I worked slowly with this muscle to encourage relaxation. The client did deep breathing exercises and worked very hard to relax through the process. This is a time when too much conversation is detrimental to the therapy. Once pectoralis major relaxed, pectoralis minor revealed its tension and inflammation. Again we worked slowly and worked with deep breathing to bring about change to the affected muscle bundle.

After all was finished, my client reported that they were much improved. They had come to me in such pain originally that if massage was not helping they would consult their physician. Luckily, massage helped this client, but my advice, if this conditions flairs up again in the short term, is to see a doctor in case something more serious is occuring in the shoulder.

Posted by linda at August 16, 2005 1:01 PM

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