Restricted Shoulder Movement |Remedial Massage Case Study

Restricted Shoulder Movement |Remedial Massage Case Study

Radio Producer’s severely restricted movement in left shoulder relieved through Remedial Massage.

CASE STUDY – JULIE STREET, 49-year-old radio producer


Severely restricted movement in left shoulder and shooting pain in upper left arm when reaching backwards or forwards.

SYMPTOMS: When I first consulted Catherine I was experiencing severe pain in my upper left arm which occurred whenever I extended my arm backwards or forwards. I was unable to reach my left arm behind my back to fasten my bra and could not raise it above my head at all. I also regularly woke with pain in my left shoulder whenever I slept on my left side during the night. I had been experiencing these symptoms for a few weeks and struggling to live with them, but secretly hoped (as we all do) that things would get better on their own. The day I actually called Catherine was when I reached forward to pull the passenger door of a car shut and felt as though my entire shoulder was about to lock. It was at that moment I knew I had to act. I called Catherine and she saw me within the hour.

EMOTIONAL BUILD-UP: I don’t think my shoulder and upper arm problem was ever caused by anything as obvious as a fall. I used to carry an extremely heavy bag on my right shoulder which I believe impacted the back of my neck over time and probably caused imbalance to my shoulders as a whole. I occasionally carried the bag on my left shoulder too and remember leaning down to let it slide to the floor one day, jerking my left shoulder uncomfortably ‘out of place’. 2015 was an extremely stressful year for me. I went back to studying full-time (while also juggling the demands of raising a 10-year-old), doing a course which was extremely challenging with a group of students half my age. Meanwhile, a construction site was going on right next door to my house with a full-scale demolition and rebuild taking place in what can only be described as a very fractious atmosphere with my neighbours. By the time I saw Catherine I’d say I was literally cracking up in both body and soul.


FIRST MASSAGE (30/11/2015): I found my first arm, neck and shoulder massage with Catherine quite tender, but the results I experienced over the following days were well worth the pain on the massage table. This is the text I sent Catherine the morning immediately after the massage:

Just slept for 36 hours ‘cos that’s what my body was crying out for. Much more flexibility this morning and pain nearly all gone… Thank you so much for the massage. I think it shifted a lot of emotion as well as muscles!!!

Over the following days I recovered a lot more freedom of movement in my left shoulder and it became less and less painful to sleep on my left side at night. My left arm still hurt when I reached forward for things and was still a bit restricted when I reached behind my back to fasten my bra. But it was a great relief to live a pain-free life when not making these movements.

SECOND MASSAGE (19/1/2016): I did a follow-up arm, neck and shoulder massage with Catherine in January as, while most of the pain in my left shoulder and upper arm had gone, I still felt as though some of my arm movements (particularly reaching above my head and behind my back) were restricted.

My follow-up massage with Catherine was a lot more enjoyable than the first. As a result of gentle but deep massage around the front of my shoulder and the back of my neck, my upper left arm and shoulder became a lot looser and I was able to raise my left arm much higher over my head. At the end of the session I was able to fasten my bra behind my back relatively easily.


In the days following the massage I was able to sleep on my left side without any problem whatsoever. My arm movements have become much freer and I no longer feel as though my left shoulder could lock at any moment. What’s more, reaching behind my back in the morning is now a real possibility. I realise that my left shoulder is not working to 100% of its capacity and it may require a few more massages to get it back to full working order. However, thanks to my new-found flexibility, I can put my hand on my heart and say I am amazed at the progress my left shoulder and upper arm have made in just two in-depth massages from Catherine. I’ve promised my body – and soul – they can have another one in a month!