Trigger Points and Frozen Shoulder
Within the physical therapy arena, one of the classic resources for Kinesiology (the study of movement and the way muscles cause movement to occur) reference is Brunnstrom’s Clinical Kinesiology (Smith, Weiss, and Lehmkuhl 1996); much of the following information will stem from this book. Though much of Kinesiology is focused on movement, it is also concerned with the myriad of factors that limit the function of muscles.
As you may or may not know, many shoulder problems will occur because one or more of the 24 muscles associated with the shoulder are not functioning properly. Trigger points within the muscle tissue affect muscle function negatively, and the most important effects of trigger points are as follows:
Trigger Points shorten muscles and actively prevent them from lengthening
Trigger Points often cause muscle weakness.
Trigger Points are often painful ->
This pain makes muscles stay tense ->
This constant tension in the muscle will make the trigger point worse, thus completing a continually worsening cycle.
The reality is that it takes time for adheasions to develop and the shoulder already has to be locked into place for adhesions to form. That’s why it’s so important to deal with pain, especially shoulder pain, straight away.
Many of my clients wait for months and months- despite my encouragement- to seek treatment, or they stop treatment as soon as most of their symptoms lessen. Of course symptoms will return if the cause is not removed.
In the opinion of some doctors (source) the first step in treatment is to get rid of the trigger points that reside within the muscles associated with the problem shoulder. The sooner the trigger points are treated, the better chance there is to keep adhesions forming in the shoulder joint. – the Dreaded Frozen Shoulder! You don’t want that, it may seem an option just to keep everything you need on lower shelves or just give up activities that ‘hurt’ or ‘pinch’ your shoulder- but 30 years experience working as a fitness leader I know you MUST deal with your pain.
Next you’ll learn what you can do for yourself using these little balls, rollers and gentle exercises to stretch your tight muscles.
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