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Case Study: Suffered from severe shoulder stiffness and the area around my scapula feels knotted up.


shoulder stiffness, and the area around my scapula feels very knotted up.

Ms.I's Case study (25-year-old female, Corporate employee).


For six months now, my shoulder stiffness has intensified, especially on the inner side of my scapula, which feels very knotted and painful.


I can't pinpoint a specific cause; however, I've always had chronic and severe shoulder tension. Additionally, I constantly feel a tension in both of my upper arms.


In my job as an interior sales representative, I often have to carry heavy samples to show to clients.


I don't experience headaches or numbness in my arms. However, I've recently noticed myself unconsciously massaging the knotted area around my scapula more frequently.


As for lower back pain, it bothers me about once a year.


Unrelated to the shoulder tension, I'm also personally concerned about my weight and wonder if there's something I can do about it.



Primary Symptoms of Ms.I:

  • Both inner sides of the scapulae feel very knotted.

  • Tension in both left and right shoulders and upper arms.

  • Occasionally experiences lower back pain.

Post-Treatment Progress:

  • After the first session: During the initial chiropractic treatment, the balance between the muscles surrounding the scapula and the spine was adjusted. After the treatment, there was about a 70% improvement in symptoms.

  • Second session: The improvement from the first session was maintained, and the treatment content continued in the same manner as the first session.

  • Third session: After the previous treatment, all symptoms were alleviated. The treatment not only targeted the affected area but also focused on balancing the entire body.

After those sessions, there were no recurrences of the symptoms, and the treatment concluded after a total of five sessions.


Currently, to prevent excessive fatigue accumulation, the patient visits for body maintenance about once every 2-3 weeks.


Director's Remarks:

The sensation of a grinding feeling inside the shoulder blade is caused by chronic muscle fatigue, occurring when trying to move tensed muscles.


Many may be reluctant to move it due to the unsettling sound. Indeed, if you don't move, there's no sound, which can be reassuring.


However, it's better to move the shoulder even with the grinding noise, as it becomes more flexible. Conversely, by not moving, the stiffness might worsen.


The quick improvement in symptoms can be attributed to the patient's inherent flexibility and the active incorporation of stretches and exercises as recommended.


The rate of symptom relief, even for similar shoulder discomfort, varies among individuals.


In daily life, making sudden major changes to work content, working hours, or lifestyle rhythm can be challenging.


But, introducing stretches or small changes to one's body, even for a short duration, can encourage an exhausted body to recover actively.


In the case of Ms. I, they started walking and light jogging as their physical condition improved.


Although there was mention of concerns about obesity, our clinic's chiropractic treatments do not directly result in weight loss. *This doesn't mean it's impossible in other clinics.


However, making the body move more smoothly and efficiently can make exercising less burdensome.


The individual's commitment is always essential. In the long run, revising one's diet, snacks, getting proper sleep, and continuous exercise is the real shortcut to overcoming obesity.


Video Guide: Stretching the chest, underarms, and neck.

Regarding the grinding sensation in the shoulder blade, it's recommended to place a tennis ball on that gritty part of the back, lie down on your back, and self-massage.


However, merely massaging the inner part of the gritty shoulder blade is not enough.


Thus, I'd like to introduce three stretches deeply associated with the movement of the shoulder blade.


To improve the restricted movement of the shoulder and shoulder blade and reduce the strain causing the grinding sensation inside the shoulder blade, it's vital to enhance the function of these seemingly unrelated parts of the shoulder.

  1. Front Chest Stretch: Whenever you move your arm, this muscle is almost always engaged. While continuously pressing on the chest muscle located below the collarbone, rotate your arm in circles.

  2. Underarm Stretch: This muscle, which seems like it might not be used much, is actually under a lot of strain. It supports the shoulder from below. After interlocking your fingers, stretch upwards and then lean your body to the side.

  3. Front Neck Stretch: This area is crucial. Many of you may feel pain in the back of the neck, shoulders, or back, but the muscles on the front side of the neck are significantly fatigued. Easing this area is a shortcut to improving neck and shoulder stiffness. Gently press on your collarbone with your hand, then tilt your face up towards the ceiling. Slowly move your neck from side to side.


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