One technique to heal stubborn shoulder pain - Upright Health

One technique to heal stubborn shoulder pain

Imagine this. You've had shoulder pain for years. Not just 1 month. Not just 1 year. You've had it for 15 years.

Your doctor says it's probably from some kind of nerve damage or your bones are growing improperly. You'll need some kind of surgery or you'll just have to learn to "live with it."

Pretty big downer, no? Too bad so many people go through this scenario. Want an alternative?

FRANK DIDN'T WANT TO LIVE WITH SHOULDER PAIN

frank personal training client with shoulder pain

He also gave me a huge of gratitude. 

Frank lives in the Netherlands, and his daughter insisted that he come see me to help him with his shoulder pain. He hadn't been able to play tennis in years. He hadn't been able to do much of anything with his right arm for years, and none of his doctors, chiropractors, or physical therapists had been any help for 15 years.

He came in to see me, quite skeptical, and after an hour, his pain was gone. The next week he went out to play tennis for the first time in over a decade.

What did we do to fix his shoulder pain?

First of all, I'm not a wizard. If I were, I'd be riding dragons in the sky and drawing obscene pictures in the clouds just to get a reaction.

What I did with Frank was recognize a probable muscular cause and then attempt to address it. Lucky for him, it was exactly what he needed, and the solution is one that's easy for him to do on himself! Now he has full function in his shoulder, AND he doesn't NEED me to help him fix the problem.

There are things called "trigger points." Their existence and physiology is controversial in the research world, but anyone with massage and bodywork training or even the slightest experience with massage and bodywork has heard of them and has seen what havoc they wreak. They form inside muscles, and they screw up everything.

On top of your shoulder blade, there are several muscles that tend to develop these trigger points. When these trigger points develop, they can cause problems in your shoulder, your elbow, your wrist, and your hands. They can be huge troublemakers.

When Frank lay down on the table, I started poking at those muscles, and his experience was pretty bad. These trigger points, when nasty, can be -- well -- nasty. We're talking stinging, sharp, stabbing pain from just a little pressure. As we continued, it got a bit better, but at no point did it get "comfortable." But once he stood up to test his shoulder, he was almost speechless. Disbelief turned to happiness.

Of course with muscular issues, you need to learn to maintain a healthy state. You can't just stretch one time in your life and expect the effects to last forever, right? Want to know what he does now to reproduce what I did for him?

How Frank fixed his shoulder pain

It's dead simple. He rolls on a ball.

So the homework he was given was to get a lacrosse ball, put it up against a wall, and roll the ball all over those hot spots once a day for 2-3 minutes. It's nothing complicated, and as long as he doesn't attempt to push with superhuman pressure into the ball, he has no risk of hurting himself. Upside? His shoulder stays pain free and is free to move in all directions for tennis.

If you or someone you know has been struggling with shoulder pain (or elbow or wrist pain), this can be one very, VERY useful technique to relieve the suffering, so feel free to share this with others.

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About the Author

Matt Hsu is a trainer and orthopedic massage therapist. He fought a long battle with chronic pain all over his body and won. He blends the principles he learned in his journey, empirical observations with clients, and relevant research to help others get their lives back.

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