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Adhesive capsulitis, also known as frozen shoulder, is a condition that can lead to stiffness and pain in the shoulder. Difficulties with raising the arm above the head might also be a result of adhesive capsulitis. Stiffness experienced as a result of frozen shoulder are caused by an inflammation of the joint capsule. Massage therapy can help resolve the condition. However, treatment might also involve the use of physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs or heat therapy. In rare cases, surgery is required. In all cases, warming up and stretching prior to physical activity can help avoid a relapse of the condition.

Causes and Development

The condition can develop as a result of an accident, or it can be related to an underlying condition such as arthritis or rotator cuff tendonitis. Diabetes is said to lead to an increased risk of frozen shoulder occurrence. The usage of slings or splints can also contribute to the development of the condition. However, it may also be that there is no obvious cause for the onset of the condition in an individual.

The initial symptoms of the condition include pain and stiffness. This pain will lessen over time, but stiffness will remain. The final phase will see increased function and a further reduction in pain. If pain is severe or is accompanied by fever, dizziness or weakness, a doctor should be consulted.


Essentially, regular massage helps to increase the blood flow to the shoulders and can also help reduce scar tissue. A variety of techniques can be combined to give some relief from pain and aid one's recovery. Several massages might be required in order for one to experience relief. Massage is particularly beneficial for the circulatory, nervous, musculoskeletal and lymphatic systems.

One type of massage technique used is deep-tissue massage. This involves the application of pressure to the muscles. This can help to release adhesions that might be causing the pain. Shiatsu is one such deep-tissue technique. This techniques applies pressure to the acupressure areas on the body, which is said to adjust the energy flow within the body. It should be noted, however, that this type of therapy should be avoided during periods of extreme pain or swelling.

Swedish massage and trigger point massage are also used. Trigger point therapy involves pressure being applied to specifically targeted areas of pain. Swedish massage is more gentle, and employs long gentle strokes in order to reduce pain and overall stress.

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