Archive for the 'Conditions' Category

Published by Josh on 23 Aug 2007

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Published by Josh on 26 Jul 2007


Causes and Pathogenesis

  • One of the most common forms of headaches
  • Most common in adults and adolescence
  • 2 or more times a week for several months it’s considered chronic
  • Constriction of neck and scalp muscles
  • Muscles involved: Temporalis, Occipitalfrontalis, SCM(sternocliedomastoid), Sub occipitals, Levator Scapula, Masator
  • Muscular, tendinous, or ligamentous injury to the head or neck structures
  • The ligaments in the neck may be most easily injured
  • Muscle tension in the sub occipital triangle or the jaw flexors can cause headaches
    • These are especially vulnerable to the effects of emotional stress
  • central nervous system dysfunction
  • Active Trigger Points in involved muscles
  • Emotional Traumatic experiences
  • Continuous/sustained contraction of head and neck muscles
  • Inactive muscles causing myofascial restrictions
  • Muscle Atrophy in head and neck muscles causing muscle imbalances

Tension type headaches are the most common forms of headaches. These headaches are bilateral with a pressing, nonpulsating feel, lasting from 30 minutes to 7 days. The historical theory has been that tension-type headaches are due to sustained contraction of cervical and pericranial muscles. However, electromyographic (EMG) studies don’t support a muscle contraction mechanism in tension-type headaches. Rather, more and more evidence exists implicating myofascial TrP pain as an etiologic source of pain in these headaches. These myofascial TrP however can be activated by a constant contraction and overuse of the head and neck muscles, in an abnormal position. These positions and activating factors differ between each muscle involved, but send referred pain to the areas that tension-type headaches present.

Affected muscles

  • Affected muscles:
    • Temporalis,
    • Occipitalfrontalis,
    • SCM(sternocliedomastoid),
    • Sub occipitals,
    • Splenius Capitis and cervicis
    • Levator Scapula,
    • Masator

For More information about muscles, their attachments and how to treat tension headaches you can get video lessons and deeper anatomy knowledge on muscles etc. at

Josh the Masseur

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Published by Josh on 26 Jul 2007

Frozen Shoulder


Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is a disorder characterized by pain and loss of motion or stiffness in the shoulder. It affects about two percent of the general population. It is more common in women between the ages of 40 years to 70 years old. The causes of frozen shoulder are not fully understood. The process involves thickening and contracture of the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint. A doctor can diagnose frozen shoulder based on the history of the patient’s symptoms and physical examination. X-rays or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) studies are sometimes used to rule out other causes of shoulder stiffness and pain, such as rotator cuff tear.

Risk Factors/Prevention

Frozen shoulder occurs much more commonly in individuals with diabetes, affecting 10 percent to 20 percent of these individuals. Other medical problems associated with increased risk of frozen shoulder include: hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiac disease or surgery. Frozen shoulder can develop after a shoulder is injured or immobilized for a period of time. Attempts to prevent frozen shoulder include early motion of the shoulder after it has been injured.


Pain due to frozen shoulder is usually dull or aching. It can be worsened with attempted motion. The pain is usually located over the outer shoulder area and sometimes the upper arm. The hallmark of the disorder is restricted motion or stiffness in the shoulder. The affected individual cannot move the shoulder normally. Motion is also limited when someone else attempts to move the shoulder for the patient. Some physicians have described the normal course of a frozen shoulder as having three stages:

  • Stage one: In the “freezing” stage, which may last from six weeks to nine months, the patient develops a slow onset of pain. As the pain worsens, the shoulder loses motion.
  • Stage two: The “frozen” stage is marked by a slow improvement in pain, but the stiffness remains. This stage generally lasts four months to nine months.
  • Stage three: The final stage is the “thawing”, during which shoulder motion slowly returns toward normal. This generally lasts five months to 26 months.

Treatment Options

Frozen shoulder will generally get better on its own. However, this takes some time, occasionally up to two to three years. If you have a stiff and painful shoulder, see your physician to make sure no other injuries are present. Treatment is aimed at pain control and restoration of motion. The first goal is pain control. This can be achieved with anti-inflammatory medications. This can also be achieved by self treatment, stretches and exercise as well as massage. Because Frozen Shoulder is a reoccurring chronic condition any heat treatment works well in easing pain and inflammation, opposed to ice for acute conditions. Massage aims to increase blood flow, warmth and flexibility to the entire shoulder girdle mainly including the rotator cuff muscles to easy pain and tightness on the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint.

Josh the Masseur

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