Common reasons for having a stiff shoulder include rotator cuff strains, arthritis, bursitis, a cartilage tear or a frozen shoulder. Women and men that are diagnosed with breast cancer are at a high risk to develop shoulder stiffness if surgery or radiation are used for treatment. These people experience scarring, adhesions and/or contractures of the shoulder and the tissue around it. Many of those people simply accept their diminished movement and pain. They are not aware they can do something about it to restore their normal movement and eliminate scar tissue and pain.
A recent research study published by the Oncology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, documents how instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization can effectively restore movement by removing scar tissue in women who had undergone mastectomy. Thickened scar tissue that is hypersensitive develops following mastectomy and radiation. If left untreated it often leaves survivors with tight adhesions, poor flexibility, limited mobility, impingement and pain.
At Fluid Physio we utilize one of the simplest tools besides our hands, to perform soft tissue mobilization. This will assist the body in the absorption of restrictive adhesions and stimulate the regeneration of healthy tissue. We utilize joint mobilizations to address joint stiffness through the joints in the shoulder, shoulder blade, spine, ribs and clavicle. We use different taping techniques to stimulate blood and lymph flow to reduce inflammation, encourage proper mechanics and reduce pain. Specific exercises are then prescribed to stimulate normal movement and strength. The most important thing that keeps our focus is the patient’s specific goal.
Check out our past patient of the month, Suzanne Gallagher, a perfect example of strength.