There are many potential causes for shoulder pain, but unless you had a specific event like a car accident, sports injury or serious fall, the odds are good that a short course of massage therapy can help relieve your pain. Some initial assessment is advised to determine whether massage can be helpful and which muscles are involved.
A lot of shoulder pain arises from the muscles that make up the rotator cuff. It is made up of 4 muscles: the Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor and Subscapularis. Assessing each of these 4 muscles independently can identify the source of the problem. Three of the 4 muscles are very accessible and are easily treated with friction and gliding massage strokes along with stretching and strengthening. The subscapularis is a bit harder to reach because it attaches underneath (on the anterior side) the shoulder blade, but it’s still reachable and treatable. There are additional muscles in the upper back and chest that can contribute to shoulder pain so these should be assessed as well.
If you have shoulder pain, before you consider any invasive treatment, give 3 sessions with a therapist trained in massage for injuries a try. If you don’t see improvement in 3 sessions, you might have a more serious injury that could require more invasive treatment.