According to an article in Massage Therapy, an MPA media publication, the most common cause of shoulder pain is a problem with the rotator cuff muscles and tendons in the shoulder. Weakness in the rotator cuff and tightness in the joint capsule can be treated with massage therapy techniques. Neuromuscular and myofascial techniques can be used to treat the adhesions and trigger points in the muscles that are shortening the muscles and having the overall effect of destabilizing the shoulder.
There are four rotator cuff muscles: the infraspinatus, supraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis. They attach the shoulder blade to the top of the humerus. Additionally they rotate the arm and keep the shoulder joint together.
“Trigger points in the rotator cuff muscles cause a major portion of the pain in the shoulder, along with clicks and grinding noises and loss of mobility. They’re indirectly responsible for physical deterioration of the shoulder joint and can predispose it to serious physical injury, including rotator cuff tears and dislocation” (Travell and Simons 1999, 538-571, 596-607)
The safest and most direct and effective therapy for shoulder pain is specific trigger point massage of these muscles. Even when surgery must be done to correct a genuine structural problem, massage of the trigger points in the rotator cuff muscles is VITAL for eliminating residual pain. (Travell and Simons 1999, 141-142, 542,556,599)