Intensive Shoulder Therapy

Common Injuries to the Shoulder include Rotator Cuff Syndrome (generally a collection of symptoms)

  • If you have been diagnosed with a sport related shoulder injury, seek early advice from an certified Osteopathic Practitioner.
10Osteopathy adopts is a ‘natural’ method of treatment that utilizes the body’s own healing mechanisms, No drugs, no surgery.

Osteopaths use a range of techniques that focuses on specific and unique sequence of manipulations and pressure points to the injured area that often develops trigger points. In essence, these can be thought of as ‘inputs’ into the nervous system  that allows immediate response or relaxation and ‘melting’ effect on the trigger point.

Shoulder injuries occur often as result of ‘macro-trauma’ which is often an identified injury, or gradual onset through micro-trauma as a result of repeated micro stresses and eventually resulting in a clinical picture. Osteopathic therapy is aimed at identifying these stresses, diagnosing tissues causing symptoms which will formulate the treatment and rehabilitation by but by applying gentle stimulation to muscles whilst they are resting.

11Osteopathic soft tissue attempts to improve the range of motion by ‘releasing tension and not ‘forcing’  the shoulder through the blockage; which can result in the condition considerably worsening.

Often during the clinical stage the shoulder injury can be painful during and after treatment, but by stimulating the soft injured tissues the theory is to kick start and inflammatory and repair phase.

12The first few sessions of the technique initially address the inflammation in the first instance, once pain levels are reduced the emphasis is on improving the range of motion.

Typical treatment sessions can range from 4-6 to see significant changes but of course this does depend on the extent of the injury and the time the injury has allowed to develop over, ie acute into chronic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Compression Technique

This technique involves locating the heart of the trigger/tender point. When this is compressed it may well triggers a specific referred pain map (preferably reproducing your symptoms). This technique involves applying direct, gentle and sustained pressure to point:


  1. Identify the tender/trigger point you wish to work on
  2. Place the host muscle in a comfortable position, where it is relaxed and can undergo full stretch;
  3. Apply gentle, gradually increasing pressure to the tender point until you feel resistance;
  4. This should be experienced as discomfort and NOT pain;
  5. Apply sustained pressure until you feel the tender point yield and soften. This can take from seconds to several minutes;
  6. This can be repeated, gradually increasing the pressure on the tender/trigger point until it has fully yielded.
  7. To achieve a better result, you can try to change the direction of pressure during these repetitions.

Deep Stroking Massage Technique

This approach follows a technique advocated by Travell and Simons involves a deep slow stroking technique over a tender/trigger point rather than a compression as described above. (Travell & Simons 1993 & 1999). As well as de-activating the trigger point this technique can have a stimulating or tonic effect on the host muscle.

  1. Identify the trigger point and note muscle fibre direction;
  2. Place the patient in a comfortable position, where the affected/host muscle can undergo full excursion;
  3. Lubricate the skin if required
  4. Identify and locate the tender/trigger point or taut band;
  5. Working from insertion of the muscle towards the muscle origin;
  6. Perform slow stroking massage using your thumb/applicator just beneath the taut band, and reinforce with your other hand (this should feel a bit like squeezing toothpaste from a tube)
    Note: This should be experienced as discomfort and NOT pain;
  7. Hold for a 10-15 seconds and then complete the rest of the massage stroke towards the end of the muscle.