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The Benefits of Massage After a Rotator Cuff Injury

When an injury occurs it is important to treat the area correctly to avoid further damage and to allow for proper healing of the injured area. Massage can be a way to do this as well as help with scar tissue build-up around the rotator cuff. If done properly massage can reduce pain, stiffness, and inflammation.

For this reason, understanding proper massage techniques or receiving the appropriate treatment is important. For individuals that want to try massage but are unsure of how to do it themselves this post will explain some basic ways, they can treat their rotator cuff injury with self-massage at home.

What You Need to Know About the Rotator Cuff(Opens in a new browser tab)

Why should you massage your rotator cuff?

Massage can help in a number of ways when it comes to a rotator cuff injury.

The first way massage can be helpful is when an injury has been sustained, or when someone has chronic pain from overuse of the area. One common issue is with shoulder impingement which occurs when tendons surrounding the rotator cuff become irritated or inflamed, often due to lack of blood flow in the area. This can be caused by many things including muscle tightness and inflexibility.

Massage helps by breaking up scar tissue which often forms in the rotator cuff when an injury occurs. Scar tissue can limit the range of motion, strength, power, and function when one is suffering from a rotator cuff injury.

For example, if you were to injure your right shoulder it would be difficult to lift or reach with that arm and would limit the overall use of that arm. When scar tissue forms around the rotator cuff it can be very dense and inflexible. If this is allowed to remain after an injury it can lead to greater stiffness, pain, and loss of range of motion(ROM) as well as strength and power. By breaking up or softening this scar tissue through massage it is possible to resolve inflammation which often leads to pain and further damage. It is also possible that massage will lessen the amount of time needed for healing and may prevent further injury.

Shoulder Impingement(Opens in a new browser tab)

How to locate the point of pain where the injury occurred

The shoulder is separated into four quadrants. By finding where the pain or injury occurs, you can target that area specifically, while massaging the other quadrants to promote relaxation. If you know the area that is injured it is important to massage this area. If you do not know where the injury occurred it is best to massage an area around the location of your pain.

How to perform massage on the rotator cuff using your hand

To get started you are going to need your hand. Place the heel of your palm on the area where the pain is felt, press firmly, and slowly massage in a circular motion for about one minute. This can be done several times daily and depending on the severity it may take several days or even weeks before any positive changes occur.

When to perform the massage

After an injury, it is important to begin massaging immediately until your pain and inflammation has decreased. If you wait, scar tissue will likely form which can be difficult to break up later on down the road. To keep this from happening, once an injury occurs it is important to use some form of massage throughout the day for your shoulder. If you are not receiving treatment from a health care professional, this means massaging at home every morning and night to prevent scar tissue and further damage.

Can you hurt yourself?

Yes, it is possible to cause further injury by using incorrect pressure or technique when massaging an injury. If you are unsure if something you are trying will be too much for your rotator cuff, try it out on another part of your body first since there are no serious complications.

In the end, it is important to massage your rotator cuff injury as soon as possible after you have injured yourself, this will not only decrease the scar tissue but hasten healing time overall. If you are unsure of how to do it or what technique to use for your specific injury just contact us at 325.646.4272 and let one of our students help you with your rotator cuff pain. OR book online here