I've got a suspected 'shoulder separation' on my right shoulder - can massage help?

Hi everyone, I've got a suspected 'shoulder separation' that I've had for a while but has recently flared up quite badly, leaving me unable to carry heavy bags on my shoulder, sit in particular positions, bend or do anything, and my right lung feels slightly trapped by my chest. While I can cope with these things for short periods of time, would a particular type of massage help to ease the inflammation or do you think it's best to just leave it alone?
Asked by RebeccaCrutchley

16 answers

Top answer
Hi, firstly you need to go and get your shoulder, back and ribs assessed properly by a good osteopath (like myself ) or physio. They should assess you and give you a diagnosis and treatment plan. No pint in others guessing at what could be done on an unknown condition. Massage therapists (which I am also) are not trained to fully assess and diagnose such issues.
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Hi Rebecca.
Although Massage may help at some stage, first you need to wait for inflammation to subside. Its not advisable for somebody to massage when there is Inflammation present. I would use Ice packs to help that problem to start with. Like others say, you do need to strengthen the muscles that work the shoulder but also need to be careful. i wouldnt try anything like that as yet.
You shouldn't be carrying anything on that shoulder at all while you have this going on.
You could do with Ice and an anti inflammatory like Ibuprofen 400mg which will ease inflammation and the pain. ice is also brilliant anti inflammatory.
When the pain goes you can then try Massage and strengthening but should really consult your GP first in case you need Surgery Hope you get well soon
Visit your physiotherapist...
Hi, If your doc/physio chiro or osteo has said its ok to get massage it absolutely will help. Just make sure that whoever you go to is well aware of your injury and starts very gently, make sure during a massage you voice how it is feeling and guide your therapist. They should start very carefully with just light flowing movements around the area and build up pressure as the healing process progresses. Often when you have an injury your posture changes as you compensate and that cause other problems. So massage would be more about maintaining the rest of your muscles and your general posture, as well as increase your circulation, This in turn will help speed up our recovery and avoid other aches and pains as a result.
Get better soon.
go to the doctors to make sure massage is advisable usually massage can help ease the pain but scar tissue is a pain literally to get rid of you can manage it. not good news I know cause got a chip in my spine after my car crash and still gives me jipp every now and again sometimes worst then others . love and light x
hi, firstly i would recommend avoiding carrying heavy bags with your affected arm as the weight is pulling your arm further out of position therefore stretching the already strained muscles which will be helping to keep the joint in place.. it would be highly beneficial to have a scan on it if possible, this way no-ones personal diagnosis and prescription can make the issue more complicated..
the feeling of your lung entrapment is most likely to be coming from the lung meridian which has it's 1st and 2nd acupoints which are approx 1 inch (respectively below the protruding bend of your collar bone, gentle manipulation of these points would release the blockage and most likely relieve this sensation.. you could easily find these points yourself and gently massage them, they will probably be painful to touch but this would subside through you "working" them..
i believe this would help the inflammation as would tuina massage help to relieve the whole neck/shoulder region as the muscle spasms will begin to cause tension to spread further.
i agree with Milan in saying that cupping would be a good idea also as it will release stagnant blood from the area and introduce new blood and aid the healing process of the damaged tissue.. i would also recommend gentle tuina therapy to the area to stimulate the tissue/acupoints in the area..
a good Chinese acupuncturist would also be able to help with pain relief remotely..
an experienced physio with skills in taping would also be worth finding as this would restrict the movements causing you difficulty and reduce muscle stretching without looking at a strap..
suppliments in mind i would advise "green lipped mussel extract" is it combats arthritic conditions and aids damaged tissue.. this can be taken internally by capsual and spread on the area in a cream such as pernaton, tiger balm and red flower oil or woodlock are also excellent natural oils which would help with keeping the area supple and aid healing..
good luck, colin http://www.tuinainedinburgh.com
Interesting question! No for massage. I would recommend strengthening of the muscles in the area of the shoulder to give support to the AC joint. Deep tissue massage would lengthen the muscles and make the joint more unstable. If there was swelling, superficial massage could be used to reduce the inflammation I suppose.

I would suggest to go to a doctors and get referred to a physiotherapist.

Hope this helps?
Massage is a vital part of the process, but it comes after the osteopaths part.
Once the shoulder is reset or confirmed as having no displacement, massage can help with the pain and reuce the swelling, as well as conditioning the muscles surrounding the wound.
I'm not a big fan of 'strengthening' exercises, as i find increased body awareness to be more valuable than simply increasing the loads around the joint to stabilise the structure.
The side effects of increased strength are increased wear and tear, and that is already a risk if the shoulder has indeed seperated.
Gentle exercise is your friend.
Tai chi.
and others,
they will help the joint to heal, but without restricting its mobility or increasing the loads.
At the end of the day, the only way to comment acurately is by seeing you in person and assessing the shoulder.
Until then, there is no way to advise correctly.
The specific exercises we prescribe depend on your build and temperament as well as the injury.
Consultations are free :)
Rebecca, you can solve your problem with yoga practice and massage. so find and do it very carefully. if any question ask by mail. sreekumarp@mail.com
In any case the first thing is to consult your doctor.
I can give you some tips that you can do at home that can help you.
Rest the shoulder as much as possible.
Place bag in the heat after cold sore area.
and light shoulder raises.
plenty of rest.
If the injury is not deep.
In any case, the massage is helpful in combination with other techniques.
I hope you will help.
Licet Sanchez
I would recommend at first go to the doctor to make sure the problem is 'shoulder separation', and if so,and if there is no need for surgery,the probably the best thing would be to do some physiotherapy sessions instead of just massage.
We have great physiotherapist Kremi,who have had patients with this kind of problems.
get well soon!
Hi Rebecca, a separation usually affects the ligaments connecting the tip of the collarbone to part of the shoulder blade near the top of the shoulder joint. Inflammation is likely to be coming from this area, due to some mis-alignment, caused by reduced ligament supoprt from the injury. Massage will not help this area much, although will help more if surrounding muscles are affected. Physiotherapy to strengthen the support muscles will hold your shoulder blade in a better position and reduce the stress on the injured area.
We are in Edgware and Shenley, please let us know if we can help.
You didn't clarify if the separation was in the AC joint (acromioclavicular) or the GH (glenohumeral). If it is a case of GH separation, the issue tends to be instability. While massage will help loosen the overuse and tightness in the muscles, I recommend a good physiotherapist to help with a scapular and glenohumeral stabilization program to prevent issues in the future. If it is a suspected AC separation, I would f/u with an orthopedist to determine any severity. Most likely you will end up being referred to physio for this problem as well. Normally (at least in the US) surgical intervention is not performed on an AC separation, but a brace is used. For GH instability, it really depends upon how many recurrent dislocations you have had. Again...a physio can steer you in the right direction. :)
First alignment is recommended best using the Dorn Method followed by deep neuro muscular massage and self help exercises.
Hi Rebecca, I will suggest you to have a proper check of the back and shoulders, few TuiNa and Deep tissue massage treatments and most probably also cupping on the upper back. Also to get some suggestions regarding the diet or supplements which could also help to reduce the inflammation. If you want to go for, here is my contact: http://www.qype.co.uk/place/2578166-Milan-Skamene-BSc-Hons-Acupuncture-lic-Ac-lic-Tui-Na-MGCCM-London
It would depend on the classification (ie severtity). The lower classifications (1 & 2) are rarely operated on, but strengthening exercises can be beneficial. And as with all exercise work regular massage can be very helpful.
Doctors usually recommend surgery for class 4 or 5, class 3 - that awkward middle ground is much harder to decide upon. Is the surgery and related complications / scar tissue worth any benefit etc.
If your medical practitioners have advised against surgery at this time then Orthpaedic Massage can be helpful and there are many practitioners who specialise in this.