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Painful shoulder

Jan 11th, 2014

Sam Morson asked The Guru for the following Physiotherapy Advice:


My partner has a very painful and stiff shoulder, we think as a result of heavy lifting, bending, straining etc while decking the garden.

She has been for a regular deep tissue massage, but that didn’t concentrate enough on the specific area and thus is still as painful. Would you be able to offer some more centred around her shoulder by any chance?

Look forward to your response.

Kind regards,


The Guru Responded:

Hi Sam
There is a but to this….if you’ve already given the area(ish) are pretty decent going over with sports massage, then i really doubt that the issue is actually with the shoulder.
I think this may be a problem coming from your partners neck, and not the shoulder. They can have a pain free neck, without any movement restriction but an irritated joint often gives a deep, dull ache in the back of the shoulder (can also be the front, more common at the back).
If you crash on with SM, without identifying WHY then you may get an awful lot of massages which don’t actually deal with the issue, or the pain.
Decking, gardening etc are really common causes for making the middle bit of your back stiffen up (due to the slouchy nature) which menas that you poke your chin out to see what you’re doing – this causes the irritation in your neck.
I’d go for physio, not sports massage – even though our SM’s are great!

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